“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” -Flannery O’Connor
This quote is perfect for me. I have only referred to myself as a writer in recent years. It is a big step – and a risk for me-to put my dream out there. To tell people that I think of myself as a writer. It feels a bit pretentious, and there is a little voice inside me saying negative things like – “Who do you think you are?? Nobody wants to read what YOU have to say!! Get off your high horse!!”
I shout back at that negative voice- “Be quiet!! I’m not listening to you anymore!!”
So, I am putting this out into the atmosphere today……
Since I was in the seventh grade, I have dreamt of being a writer and publishing a book. About six years ago, when I discovered the genre of spiritual memoir, I have dreamed of writing one . Until this moment, I have never spoken or written these words to anybody…..THERE!! WHEW! That was scary!! Now it is out……..
As I have gone through the very emotional and challenging process of cleaning out and selling my family home, I have found many, many things that I have written- dating as far back as the sixth and seventh grade. Mostly letters and old journals. Writing has been the main way that I have processed my thoughts, for almost all of my life. Since I have never felt called to write fiction, I have been reluctant to refer to myself as a writer. When I discovered my favorite genre of memoir, the pieces began to come together for me……
“Yes!- that is how and why I write. To share my stories and experiences in the hope that others who have had similar journeys will identify with me……and feel less alone.”
I have these thoughts, ideas and experiences and I simply feel compelled to write them down and share them. Sometimes I have to pull over when I am driving and write, because I cannot wait one more minute. These ideas and thoughts are literally bursting out of me. When I am writing, time stops. I feel alive and connected and full of promise. Like I am doing exactly what I was put on this earth to do. Often, I feel like that when teaching. Often, I feel like that when “doing ministry”- but not always. Both teaching and ministry can sometimes be tedious and draining. But writing to me is never, tedious or draining. The more I think and pray about it, the more I realize that writing is my first love……….
The other day, one of my new friends at church remarked about my Facebook posts. She told me she had been following my posts. “Are you a WRITER?”, she asked me. I hesitated for a minute. I have never been paid for my writing. I have never published a book. I have never been published in a magazine. In reality, the only writing I have done is in my journal, on my blog and in my sermons and papers. DO THOSE COUNT?? “What makes someone a writer?????”, flashed through my mind at the speed of light, while I hesitated to answer the question of my new friend……AM I A WRITER???
“YES!”, I heard myself answering.
“Yes, I am a writer.”
From my lips to God’s ears……….