Sleep When You’re Dead {live to tell the stories}

I am too wired to sleep. Maybe it’s the chai tea or the six cups of coffee, or the fact that I’m a little hyperbolic at times.

But I’m rather convinced the real reason I can’t sleep is that I’m a writer. I’m a storyteller. I’m an artist. I’m officially a part of this sacred group of elitists, these people who will always be needed no matter which direction society turns.

And I’m a part of this group because I say so.

Have you ever read Anne Lamotte’s Bird by Bird? Well I have and you should, writer or not.  When I finished reading it, I found myself too inspired to do anything but create great lines and plots and scenes in my head, words batting back in forth in my mind like a bright yellow ball in a heated tennis match.

I love to write, not for the hope of one day becoming famous or rich or even published because truthfully that scares the—er— it’s terrifying.

I love to write because of the feeling it produces within me. I’ve taken note and put something on paper. There’s a part of me that will go on existing and a story that has been told.

It’s not enough to tell your story; amplify it, tell it beautifully and proudly.

But it can’t stop there, either. Don’t just allow your story to be loud and amplified, you have to let it reverberate, resound. Let God’s voice echo in the sound waves of your story because he’s the original author. I’m the facilitator of the story he’s writing with my life.

It’s my job to observe, to take it all in, deep breathes and long sighs, and to let it echo throughout history, even if only on the pages of my journal or blog.

Ernest Hemingway and I have a similar work routine:

“I write one page of masterpiece to 91 pages of shit. I try to put the shit in the wastebasket.”

Writing isn’t  about getting your story perfect, it’s about getting your story outside of you and into the world.

I’m learning a lot about writing (thanks to this guy) and the most important lesson is this: writing is a gift.

And  not the kind of gift like the way Michael Jordan is a gifted athlete. But writing, this practice of sitting down everyday and getting the true, honest and innocent and bold thoughts out into the world with the hope of leaving it a little brighter, a little better— that’s the gift.

So I’ll give. I write.


  1. Ms. Nine · August 30, 2012

    I loved “Bird by Bird” and I like your post about writing.

  2. Seth Barnes · August 31, 2012

    Great commitment, Carrie. I look forward to watching your writing gift blossom!

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