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This is my latest post for FSR.  It is a short reflection on the difficulties of writing and what has sustained me over the years.

Writing is a difficult task for me.  Some days when I try to write, nothing comes. I could spend hours just surfing the internet.  I can mindlessly stare into my laptop as if I am drifting into nowhere land.  Other days, I just sit there giving up for the day.

Some days, when I am not motivated, I go to twitter and read “The Tweet Of God” which always gives me something I will find funny.  Some of my recent favorite tweets are these “Sometimes, if you believe in something hard enough and deeply enough, nothing happens,” and “ I need to be praised and acknowledged constantly because although I am omnipotent I am extremely insecure.

The other tweets that I like to read are by Anne Lamott, a writer that many of us aspire to be.  To many, her books seem to be written effortlessly and her thoughts touch our hearts as if she knows each one of us individually.  It is a real talent to challenge – and motivate us to grow into our better selves.

I love her writing and highly respect her openness about life.  As a professional writer, she freely shows her vulnerability and frustrations with writing.  Some of her tweets reveal the difficult life of writing various drafts and editing her own work.  These reveal her own hurdles as she produces another book.  “Here is what writing is about. One go over and over the same sentences and phrases, until they are not as bad and fraudulent as they were before,” and “Day 1 on new shitty 1st draft is stepping into cold lake, in an old swim suit, hand in hand with a dentist who wants a peek at your gums.”

Lamott’s tweets allow me to see the ‘writing in progress’ as well as the final product.  The writing in progress reveals the true painstaking work it takes to craft a phrase or sentence. They reveal that even professional writers have difficulty writing at times, that writing doesn’t always come automatically and that it is not easy.

Her exposure reveals to me that we belong to this human race and that each of us has our own set of problems and difficulties in our journey in life. As we journey together, we can take comfort in the understanding that even those whom we idolize from afar have crazy days and hardships as well.

Whenever we recognize that no one is immune to difficulties, we get comfort in remembering  “this is life.”  During the tough and challenging times, we need to hold onto our faith a little tighter and lean on our community of friends and family.

Feminist work and feminist theology relies on the community of like-minded thinkers.  Women’s communities have sustained many during times of loneliness, separation, loss and death. When I look back at my own life journey, I recognize that it is the feminist network of communities and friends that have sustained and nurtured me over the years.  Without them, I would not have been able to face the most tragic aspects of life, death, loss, health issues, family hardships and many more tough moments.

I will always be thankful for the feminist network of friends. They have comforted and encouraged me to stay strong and even rejoice in our failures.  When the sun sets, we have a new sunrise to wake up to.

[read also: Submitting my MS & Why I Need Community by Annie Hardison-Moody]


BN7A3104-MGrace Ji-Sun Kim is Visiting Researcher at Georgetown University.  She is the author of 5 books, Contemplations from the Heart (forthcoming), Reimagining with Christian Doctrines co-edited with Jenny Daggers, Colonialism, Han and the Transformative Spirit,  The Holy Spirit, Chi, and the Other: A Model of Global and Intercultural Pneumatology & The Grace of Sophia: A Korean North American Women’s Christology. She is a co-editor with Dr. Joseph Cheah for the Palgrave Macmillan Book Series, “Asian Christianity in Diaspora”.