But I'm going to put on my big girl pants today.
You see, I've been on hiatus for about six months with this whole book thing. And before that, I was writing a lot, but had absolutely no clue what I was doing. God had told me to write a book about marriage—one of the many things of which I am not an expert—and I was trying to pursue that, but honestly, it seemed like the last thing I should be writing about.
Marriage books, I told myself, are written by grown ups. The old, wise couples who've been through it all and still like each other. Not little old newlywed me.
Add to this the massive amounts of bad advice people—often strangers, often in weird public places—decided to give me about marriage, and I was one anxious bride-to-be. Not about marrying Sam, but about living up to everyone's idea of what kind of wife I was supposed to be.
It was a relief when we decided to move to Kosovo. Something shifted, and I no longer felt like those marriage books (or old, wise married people) knew the end of my story. They hadn't lived in Eastern Europe, after all. So I tossed their books, and opted for a more Choose-Your-Own-Adventure approach.
So what's a marriage-book-writer to do? And what's a wise, old married person to do?
Tell your story, and tell the truth.
Most of us aren't looking for advice. We're looking for that moment when we can say, "Me too." Or, "I want that." I have a lot of respect for writers, and an extra portion for those brave enough to write about marriage (it's hard, folks), but it disappoints me how similar the stories in these books seem to be. Maybe I haven't been reading the right ones, but it just seems like a lot of talking about conflict and how men and women are so different and how we need to clean ourselves up so we can get along. And that's just not been my experience, at all.
I'm starting to get pretty stoked about my book, because I'm finally starting to see why on earth God told me to write it. My marriage is all about stories: transitioning cultures together, tackling missions together, and discovering together how untraditional we are (and how absolutely okay that is).
So that's what I'm writing: stories. My stories. No advice included.
And I hope that whether you're a writer or wife or husband or single person, you'll tell your stories too. We all want to hear how your Choose-Your-Own-Adventure is turning out. It helps us make more daring choices and make our own stories better. It reminds us that we're not adventuring alone, and that we can be vulnerable with one another.
And that's something I can wholeheartedly endorse.