I haven’t been writing.

Haven’t parked my behind in my writing chair once since the holiday break.

Everything else has taken precedence, everything else seems more important than writing.

Like sleeping, watching Parenthood, Downton Abbey and the Bachelor (shhh no judgement). Oh and listening to podcasts and reading books. Then I begin comparing my writing and the doubt washes over, drowning me.

In my head I have started questioning all that time, all those words, all that pouring out of the soul onto the page. The book happened, it really did, and now it is there for anyone to read.

All that nakedness.

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Yes, these past few weeks I realized what 2014 felt like.

It felt like I took off my clothes and ran through the streets, conference centers, and churches. Naked. Not naked like Victoria’- secret-runway-naked, but naked like;  here-is-my-flawed-and- messy-and-unshaved-parts naked. Here is the not-so-pretty stuff. And while running around naked I smiled and held my head up high like it was no big deal.

Because me showing you myself naked, raw and vulnerable, hopefully helped you to do the same.

I can tell you though, it comes at a price. Not an expensive price, but an emotional one. It is frightening and exhausting. Because although it might seem like it is easy and natural for me to do so. It is not.

Not at all.

With it comes rejection,criticism and funny looks. There are people who don’t like it and people who it makes uncomfortable.

It makes me uncomfortable too.

When I am being most naked and vulnerable I, despite how hot a room is, find myself shivering. My body reacting inside to what I am doing. There has been a lot of shivering this past year.

Of course I chose to do this. I chose to write a book, and put it all out there, and then go speak and write and go on radio shows and tell my story over and over again.

Was it worth it? Yes.

Am I exhausted beyond anything I have ever experienced? Yes.More emotionally than physically.

Yesterday I was speaking with a young woman who is fighting like hell to get to the other side of her eating disorder. I told her about my last month, how I couldn’t seem to get myself to write again, how I might have to stop. How I might want to quit. And her encouragement is the only reason I sat and the computer today.

“You need to do it. It fills up your soul. Your soul needs it.” She said sweetly.

Yes, she is exactly right.

My soul hungers for this now and always, my soul has been made by God to be creative. Even as a 5-year-old I was writing stories, writing my soul on the page. And although I am shivering right now writing, as I feel the vulnerableness coming back (even though I have a blanket covering me) I continue to desire to do this.

To spread hope in any way I can. Un-perfectly at times.

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To share with you that life is amazing and wonderful and hard.

That people can recover from addictions. That people can survive mental illness.

I don’t know how it will look this year. The writing & the speaking. I don’t know if I will feel as if I ran naked through the world at the end of it. I hope not.

But either way, I refuse to give up.

I hope you refuse to give up too!

Oh Dear Reader, I need you. You are the reason I keep going. And I hope more than anything that you will read this and go fill up your soul, go fight for what you want, and be hungry for life.

It is worth it.

I will try to dothe same.

Thank you,

Lee Blum

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