I’ve clicked backspace seven times now. For about twenty minutes, I’ve stared at the computer screen waiting for the perfect opening line.

This post is really difficult because I’m going through what some would label as “writer’s block.” Within the past month, I have experienced what seems like a drought with my words. Maybe you’ve experience this too. If you’re anything like me, you’ve tried to make every adjustment possible in order to flip the switch.

I think the words will surely come if I change my environment. This is the continuous thought process:

Maybe if I put on instrumental music, I’ll feel inspired.

Surely, if I light an Anthro candle, the vibes will come.

Hmm.. what’s a good quote I’ve read recently that has moved me.

Dang it. Nothing.

But self-constructed inspiration and motivation simply don’t work. Especially when the issue is not an environmental issue, but an identity issue. For the longest time. I blamed the lack of outcomes on some external lack of experiences, time, or inspiration.

Maybe it’s not that I have nothing to write about. Maybe it’s just that I assume I have nothing to write about that’s worth reading. At some point, I deemed my words, my thoughts, my feelings, and my experiences as unworthy of being heard.

Even as I type right now, I have shut my computer and clicked the backspace bar more than any other key because there is some part of me that sees my life as ordinary and I’ve assumed that surely I have nothing to offer.

Somehow, I’ve let fear in the door. Insecurity is holding the pen. And criticism is the reader.

I think the criticism is pure in some sense. I want my words to matter. I want them to help people, to provide understanding and encouragement, and my fear is that they will be dead and meaningless, just adding to so much of the white noise in this world. But my desire to control the receptivity of my words keeps me from producing in the first place. Paralysis sets in and then fear wins. And we all lose.

So, I’m learning to trust the natural movements of my heart and the inclinations of my spirit. I am learning that the desire I have to write must be somehow attached to a belief hidden in myself that my words matter. And even though most days that belief is muddied underneath comparison and thoughts of inadequacy, in grace-filled moments, I remember that I have a place at the table. And unbelief in myself will never produce creativity. Freedom will.

This is the freedom to appreciate myself, to learn to love my words and my experiences, even though they may not look like Oswald Chambers or C.S. Lewis.

They look like Calah Caballero and I’m learning to love her more.

So if you’re reading this, thank you. If you’ve ever encouraged me, thank you. And if you feel like your words don’t matter, that’s crap.

They do. You do. Keep writing.

You are your own worst critic, and the thoughts you have are there for a reason, the beating of your heart towards certain topics is God given and follow it.

Maybe you are not in a writing drought. Maybe you are in a self-love drought. Ask God to change you and ask him to remind you who you are. Pray into your creativity and identity. I will pray for you as well.There is freedom in the name of the Lord. Freedom to be a novice, an expert, or someone who is trying to get better.

Keep on keeping on and remember that you have a place at the table.