In fact, I need to write. When I don’t write, I feel like I’m all jumbled up inside. I have difficulty making sense of my emotions and thoughts. It can be hard to put together all the pieces of my day until I put my fingers on that keyboard or pick up a pen. I don’t always feel like writing and there are times I can’t make myself write because I’m too tired or just don’t want to. But when I do sit down and let the words come, they flow, and things I didn’t understand suddenly become clear. I have rarely ever in my life experienced writer’s block.
The only thing I sometimes resent about writing is that at the time it comes out, it’s so fresh and new. I’m excited about it. The emotions, thoughts, and concerns on the page really matter to me. Within a few hours, it is old. I might look back at what I’ve written later and think of how silly it seems that I was so concerned with the subject I wrote about. I might even feel embarrassed that I chose to publish something so personal. But typically I enjoy reading what I’ve written. I like it. I hope others will read it. I wish I had a way to reach more readers.
Where has this highly unusual confidence come from? I can think of no other area in my life where I feel so confident, so at peace, so sure of myself, as when I write. I’m not confident about much else. I constantly fight the voices in my head that tell me I’m not enough – not smart enough, not pretty enough, not self-disciplined enough, not a good enough Christian, not successful enough, not kind and loving enough, and so much more. I often have to shake my head and tell myself “Enough!”, momentarily quieting the voices in my head that impact so much of who I am and what I do.
But when I write, the voices are gone. When I write, the world comes back into balance again. My sanity is restored. I wonder what kind of a person I would be if I had never discovered this gift. If my parents had never insisted that I read the Bible daily and write down five things that I learned from the readings. If I hadn’t received that writing award in third grade. If I had never started that first journal. If I had never experience that horrible few months at the end of a career that drove me to write and write and write, just to survive the pressure. If I had never read that book that instructed me to trust the writer within and let the gift have it’s place… Who would I be?
It was during that time of intense pressure at the end of one career that I realized what a gift writing was to me. I realized that I was mentally and emotionally surviving by writing. When that storm passed and I looked back on it, I realized that writing was a big part of my identity. I didn’t think that someone who wasn’t published and well-known could call themselves a writer, but during that time I learned I was wrong. A writer is someone who can’t seem to breathe, can’t function properly, unless they’re writing on a regular basis. No one ever has to read what that person has written for them to be a writer. It’s just something you know in your soul.
I wish I had figured this out about myself at a younger age. I wish I knew better what to do with it. But I am thankful that I did figure it out. I’m thankful I live in a time when I can self-publish and easily get the word out to a large crowd. I’m thankful that anyone cares at all about what I write.
The ability to write well and hold an audience may be considered a talent, but I have found it to be one of the greatest gifts God has given me. It feeds my soul and keeps me going. I enjoy reading the writings of other authors as well. My constant source of nutrition – reading and writing.
Thank You, God, for this gift. What is yours?