8/02/2011

On Writing

I love writing. Absolutely love it. It's one of my favorite things to do!

Here's the problem with loving to write: I am so super hesitant to call myself a writer. I'm not sure why, exactly.

Actually, that's a lie; I wrote that last sentence thinking it was true, but it's not. I didn't lie on purpose, but I wasn't being honest.

I know why I don't like to call myself a writer: if I say, "I'm a writer," as that title being part of who I am, instead of something I do, then I feel like I'm also saying I'm good at it.
Yup.

Deep down, I don't think I'm good at it. I mean, literally countless people have told me they love my writing. Men have come up to me to tell me how much my blog blessed their wife. Women have said, "You put into words the things my heart was weeping over and I couldn't express," stuff like that. And this is all true, but it feels boastful, as though simply admitting that something I have done blessed someone else makes me a proud, haughty, arrogant, bad girl.

Just writing that last sentence was strange; why girl? I'm a woman, turning 30 in 75 days (but who's counting?). I think it's because it's not from Jesus. The, "You're bad," is always the enemy and strangely enough his accusations are never that I'm a woman, they're that I'm a _____ (insert something awful) girl. Huh. I didn't intend to write that, but there you have it.

Now, to what I was meaning to write. I think I'm not a good writer because there are people so much better. Like the random guy from high school who composes stuff that makes no sense yet is heartwrenchingly beautiful and makes perfect sense, stuff like,

the concrete / where you last loved me / i cannot walk on it / the love is writhing like a neglected, dying baby / and though i need to / i cannot bear / to be the one to step / to crush / to deliver the final blow / and so i walk on the other side of the street

Only, you know, far more beautiful because I made that up in literally about 32 seconds (or however long it took to type) and his stuff is just way amazing and actually insightful. And since my husband and I are very much in love and he's the only person I have ever loved I can't even pretend to write stuff about forsaken love from a real place.

So that's the thing--I feel like he's amazing with words, a real writer. There are literally thousands, millions even, like him. And I remember there being this website I stumbled across (maybe said high school guy shared it?) where people posted their poetry and prose and others pretty much just ripped stuff apart for being horrible and I knew I didn't have the courage to pour my heart and soul into something and have it shat upon by people.

Maybe that's why I have a novel that's about 70,000 words done with 20,000 to go but I never finish it. If I finished it then it would be done and I'd actually have to do something with it, like try to figure out getting it published. And then someone would tell me either that it's so much rubbish that, uh, no thanks, or they'd say there's a glimmer of hope but here's how they need to deconstruct it and make it utterly unrecognizable to me. These people that I created and their story I told would become foreign, someone else's characters and plot. So instead I just tell myself that the book needs a lot of work and so I don't finish, don't risk.

I'm not sure what the Lord might rumble in my heart about the novel (though if you're the editing and "help you publish this somehow" type, don't be afraid to light a fire under my rump), but my blog...well, I think that Jesus' will for me is to basically get over myself. So what if there are better writers? So what if 87 people a day (ha! Like 30 people a day read my blog, and even then only when I post at least 5x a week) say, "Well, that was a load of crap," and think me an idiot? What if every now and then a person goes, "Gosh, that really helped me. I see something differently, and a part of life that was a heap of hurt has some of Jesus' truth and light shining in now," and Jesus gets to use me to bless someone?

That's the deal. My pastor has spoken before about how if something glorifies God, brings you joy, blesses others, and especially if Christ's blessed you to be good at it, then why not give it all you've got to be the best you can at it? I'm not saying I'm the best writer. I'm sure I'm not even the best writer anyone who knows me knows. But I love writing. It's part of who I am, part of what I sense deep in my gut that Christ has called me to do, at least for this time in my life until he says otherwise. My husband tells me 914 times a month (give or take 912) that I need to write more.

As I finish this, I'm writing what will hopefully be my last post on this laptop that is now all Jason's. Near my feet, on the ottoman, is my new laptop, where the lithium ion battery is charge-charge-charging. The blinking white light is driving me nuts and I check literally about every 10 seconds to see if it's solid white yet. I know the first charge being a full one is the most crucial of any lith-i battery's life so I'm killing myself with patience here. I've already prayed over it that Jesus would be glorified in my use of that laptop, that I wouldn't just murder my heart for Jesus by playing thousands of hours of Sims 3 building houses on it, but that I would redeem the time and love Christ well. I prayed that what I write on there, posted to this blog, would be a tool of repentance and seeing Jesus' name be made great.

First and foremost, I am Tami, follower of Jesus, wife of Jason, mother of Roger, member of T.P.'s (soon to be T.W.'s) community group and member of Mars Hill Church, friend of many. But I am also Tami, a writer. Not just a woman who writes, but a writer. Lord, teach me to embrace that as part of my identity as your daughter, to yield well this pen keyboard with which I write.


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