About the Author

Alia Joy is an author who believes the darkness is illuminated when we grasp each other's hand and walk into the night together. She writes poignantly about her life with bipolar disorder as well as grief, faith, marriage, poverty, race, embodiment, and keeping fluent in the language of hope in...

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  1. I believe that you speak for many of us when you say that the blogging life wears on you, but the community it fosters has been worth the wearing. I enjoy the many faces of you that this post offers to your readers’ eyes and hearts.
    Blessings to you as you chase that deadline and pour out your own spectacular nouns.

  2. Alia,
    Amen to the blistering pace of writing. The friction hurts and it costs….it costs us time from doing something else and sometimes that something else is just being STILL. We trade our nouns in (spouse, child, friend) for verbs (do, write, accomplish, run, run faster). Five times now, God has sidelined me with surgeries. I’ve squirmed and wiggled under the inability to get up and do things and go places. But, I’ve been able to find the one thing you mention…I was able to be filled. Filled with His Word, His presence, His comfort, His beauty. Why? Sadly to say it was because I was forced to be still. Like you, I find beauty in the silence. I prefer the quiet to the noise. There is something truly beautiful in moving at a pace where you can actually take things in….the birds at the feeder….the cup of hot cocoa….the butterfly lighting on one bush and then flitting to the next. When I move at this pace, put the pen down, focus on my nouns and not my verbs, I truly find Him and in finding Him I find peace. Awesomely beautiful post! I love your writing. Thank you for the price you pay to put words to paper. It is appreciated, truly!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Thanks for your response Bev…I always look forward to reading your reply on every post…Hope you are fully recovered…Stay blessed…xxx

    • I’m glad you’re on the mend. Surgeries are no fun at all but I’ve seen the blessing of being stilled, even if unwillingly at times. Thanks for always being with us here in the comments, you’re a blessing to all of us who write here.

  3. Miss Alia

    I have been thinking about my own little blog a lot lately… and whether or not I should just quit and write for God and myself or if I should keep going. Writing, as I am sure many can relate, is where I do most of my thinking. But, like you said, time just keeps going. Sometimes it’s hard to find a good balance… Thank you for imparting your wisdom and encouragement. I pray you and your family have a blessed day Miss Alia.

    This side of Heaven,
    Summer Rae

    • Yes, the ever constant movement of time and pace can be so hard to juggle and pushing words out before their time sometimes just seems like too much noise in an already loud world. But then there’s something to be said about writing and sharing our words and stories. Sometimes I think balance in something of a fairy tale, we will always be choosing one thing over the other, moment by moment. Some days that’s choosing to write over doing the other things and somedays it’s choosing the other things and walking away from my laptop. It’s just having the wisdom to know which time is which that is tricky. 😉

  4. Alia,

    My heart reciprocates your sentiment on the pace of the world, not being able to keep up or even want to… sometimes I feel run over by the pace that is expected of me. It was encouraging to hear I am not the only one!! You write with such beautiful imagery. Thank you for your words.

    Steph

  5. Alia,
    Your words really hit home. Thanks for sharing. By the way my Saturday afternoons wouldn’t be complete without watching The Great British Baking Show. Blessings.

    • My daughter and I love it. I find it so relaxing to watch. Ironically, she has celiac disease and I can’t eat sugar so neither of us could actually eat any of the things they make. My husband thinks we’re crazy to watch a baking show and that it’s like torture but it’s our favorite.

  6. Well, gosh Alia, that’s beautiful. — I’ve often wondered if I’m the only writer who doesn’t feel like a “blogger.” It’s a scary thing to admit out-loud because you worry you’ll offend, or turn readers away. Writing begs my soul for an outlet, but blogging doesn’t always feel like my outlet. I, too, have been learning to surrender to a pace that feels authentic to me, giving my life first dibs at creating before the words on the page have their say. — May the Lord inspire the words of your book for His glory. ((Hug))

    • Thanks, yes I think some people are great at blogging and that’s a gift. I wouldn’t say that’s me. I like longer form slower writing and blogging happened to be the medium that I got started in but the pace is often too much for me and always has been. I go at my own pace and it doesn’t make for a huge platform or anything but it feeds my soul and makes me enjoy the process more. Everyone is wired differently and we need to find what works for us as we create. It’s ok to be a writer who blogs rather than a blogger who writes.

      • Your pace works well for you, Alia–every time you share here at (in)courage, your words bless me. Thank you for being faithful to His pace for you. — Like you, the communal aspect of blogging is my absolute favorite part. Can’t imagine my world without my sweet writing friends in it…and blogging is the bridge that connected us. 🙂 Thankful for Christian community. 🙂

  7. Beautiful. Thank you. I’m about to release a new book and this is always terrifying for me. I’m learning to let go of wondering and worrying about what others will think and be content in knowing I am doing my work of writing wholeheartedly for Him.

  8. Wow! Your words today spoke directly to my heart and this season I have been in. As I started reading, I was thinking….”Hmmm…How did she get inside my head and know exactly what I have been feeling?” You were able to say, quite eloquently, what I have been trying to process through without having the right words to do so. Thank you for sharing your words and your heart with us.

  9. Alia, my friend shared this post on FB, I am glad I opened and read. I love the way you write. So profound and beautiful. I am with you in slowing down while the world speeds up and feelings of being left behind. This year has been the year of working through all of this and getting closer to God.

  10. “Scattering memories into sentences doesn’t just give my experiences meaning, it gives them a second chance at redemption and beauty.”
    Just today, I was thinking many of these same thoughts you’ve strung together here so eloquently. Questioning where the writing life ranks among my precious nouns. Thank you, Alia, for your beautiful, brave words. They mattered to me today.

  11. I LOVE how you write and express yourself! and your message was lovely! It has given me a nudge to keep working at my blog and to work at writing better and better as time goes by. Thanks!

  12. I don’t like the rush or fast pace, either. But I’m not giving up writing, it’s my solace and my gift from God. It His love that express to others and I don’t worry about offending anyone, if love is offensive, they don’t have to read it. I have been blessed to have had only a few comments that I deleted. Most people are desperate to hear about His grace. The Holy Spirit whispered to me to work from inspiration, not desperation. I don’t have to keep up with people, they need to slow down for God.

  13. I have always enjoyed reading your posts. Your honesty and insights are refreshing but today’s post really touched me that I couldn’t help but cry. I can’t really explain why but I thank God that He gave you the gift that you have. May He continue to bless you and your family as you continue your journey.

  14. Some nouns must be, by definition I guess, a burden. Others soar, flying high and free. Giving praise and thanks. And I just want to tell you I so enjoy your writing, its flow and the glow of those nouns 🙂 . And that your life will always be your best writing, your best book.
    And that I, too, marvel (often in dismay) at the pace of time, even though I go much more slowly these days. And I’ve learned that, so long as I follow Him, there will always be enough. As His grace is always enough, no matter the plenty or want.

    • Yes, I think the concept of the burden of nouns that John spoke about in his session had more to do with the weight of them being important than just the typical kinds of burdens we think of. How we manage and prioritize the nouns in our life. I wish it was recorded because it was one of my favorite sessions on writing I’ve ever heard and years later, it’s still present every time I take the time to write.

  15. Alia, when invited to give advice to a class of high school graduates, 50 years younger than I, I told them that nothing had changed. “Learn how to write well, no matter what your major interest of study.” It was Eric Liddell (“Chariots of Fire”) who said, “God made me fast and when I run, I feel His pleasure.” Think long and hard about what you would substitute for the words “fast” and “run” and then ask “What kind of person do I want to become in order to feel God’s pleasure?”

  16. I love that this was posted on my 40th birthday..it speaks right into the middle of where I am at and affirms what the Lord has been placing on my heart like a soothing balm.. I too am content with quiet. So many things spin by too fast for my lingering heart as well. I see it as a blessing that we linger, that we don’t feel the need to keep up with the breakneck speed that everything/everyone else goes at. It is a wonderful thing to disconnect from all of that and just “be”. Your words are beautiful and have the healing touch of the Makers hand. Thank you for being His vessel.

    • Happy birthday! I just turned 39 last Thursday and the older I get the slower I go. I appreciate things differently than in my 20’s when everything felt so rushed and hectic and keeping up seemed to be so important. I think my 40’s will be the best yet.

  17. Alia your writing is BEAUTIFUL. As a fellow writer I sure do hear you . . . writing costs. Our written words are often appear to be an invisible exchange. Your noun/verb analogy is stunningly fresh. In fact I find your whole blog waking my senses. God has obviously prepared you for your writing journey.

    • Thanks Joy. I owe the noun/verb analogy to John Blase, poet extraordinaire, but it’s been a good thing to keep top of mind as I pursue writing in my own way at my own pace.

  18. Beautiful! Thank you for this post. I love quiet, for in the quiet, I sometimes hear God’s whispers. Yet, the busyness of life invades that quiet. Thank you for the reminder to care for my nouns. I operate mostly in verbs. It’s nice to slow down and attend to the nouns in life. It is the nouns that give pleasure. Thank you.

  19. Alia,

    I also love the slow pace of life! I don’t do much, if any, social media. Love it when I can gaze at mountains, see a sunset or sunrise. Life is moving at to fast a pace for most. People need to slow down & enjoy the stillness of knowing God is God. All activities take time. We just need to decide how best to spend our time-with nouns-family, friends, at home- or in verbs working, writing, etc.

    Blessings 🙂

  20. Alia, as always I enjoy reading your words. I’m resting my weary legs from today’s work, enjoying my favorite fruit stand on my way home. Just wandering thru is enough. Dinner in the oven is enough as my Phil helped me make it. Blogging is time consuming but I know people read it from around the world. Not sure why more people don’t leave comments there but it’s enough to be read! God bless you, my friend. Enjoy the fall weather and the crunchy leaves and fall flowers. Hugs!