I am a writer.
This is what I wrote in my notebook during Jeff Goins‘ workshop, “How to Fall Back in Love with Your Writing” during Blissdom. I even underlined it twice, as if I might not remember the significance once I got home.
I want to believe it, I really do, but with the exception of my soul, all the other parts of me dispute it. Whether out loud or with my actions I tell myself I am most certainly not a writer.
I am not a writer when:
- I choose diversions and clutter like Twitter and crap television over writing.
- I just-ify myself. People ask me what I do and I answer with “I’m just a stay-at-home-mom” or “I just blog, it’s nothing special” or “I just work a few hours a week in retail.”
- I have amazing, creative thoughts and I choose not to pause and write them down.
- I feel the truth in me and I squash it back into its darkest crevice, to write what sounds better instead.
I know this stuff is in me – the writer, and I know it needs to come out, but it scares the hell out of me. It doesn’t strike fear in my heart because I think if I wrote it you wouldn’t like me anymore. It’s actually the opposite. Nobody likes inauthenticity. No one is moved to action or tears by fluff. Most bloggers look back at their early writings and photography and want to cringe. They feel like they’ve come so far in their craft. I look back and I cringe at what I’ve become. Too stuck to let the words flow. Too passive to pick up the camera. Too scared to confess that amidst my blessings I struggle to feel good (how dare you!), too sensitive to share that amidst my struggles I have moments of pure joy (how dare you!). I’m frightened because to go back to that other place is to admit that I’ve been doing it wrong. It’s to stand up in front of God and everyone (well, a few of you loyal readers, anyway) and be held accountable to truth-telling again.
And so I write about chore charts or makeup, or even worse, I don’t write at all. I’m not saying that writing about those things isn’t worthy. I read other writers who do it, and do it very well, but that is not my gift, that is not my passion. My gift has been to write about life, as a mother, wife, daughter, friend, with honesty and emotion. My gift has been to take photos that aren’t perfect, but that manage to capture my family and my world as it is. And because somewhere along the way I convinced myself that I wasn’t a writer or a photographer, I wrapped that gift back up and shoved it in a closet.
I think it’s about time to regift that puppy to myself. And hopefully, back to you. I’m awfully scared, though. I might need you to hold my hand.