I’m not sure that I really consider myself a writer.
Or at least, I haven’t considered it before.
When I make a list of hobbies and things I like to do, writing never makes an appearance.
When I talk about the things that I am good at, I have never thought to include writing.
But, dammit, I am a good writer! (or should that be “I write well” – ugh – I have never claimed to be an expert grammatically, and probably never will)
Over the last three years as a pastor, I have probably written more pages worth of thoughts than I did my entire college career. I wrote a lot in seminary – so I probably haven’t overcome that work yet… but I’m getting there!
It is a completely different sort of writing, however. I’m writing not for a teacher and not an academic paper, but I am writing for an audience. I am writing things that are meant to be read. I am writing things that I read/preach out loud – writing that becomes spoken and heard by many. I write for everyday folks. I write to make connections with other people and to bring things to life. And besides the sermon writing I do – and many times I would include sermons, also – I write because it brings me enjoyment.
And I love doing it. I love bringing together different sorts of situations and concepts and making connections. I love telling some one’s story – whether it is someone in scripture or a stranger who has passed away. I love to write! I AM A WRITER!!!
So when I think about the prompt for December 2:
Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?(Author: Leo Babauta)
I think first and foremost that I do (did) not believe I am a writer.
And if I don’t think of myself as a writer on a daily basis, then I do not practice my craft. I don’t work on it. I don’t give myself time to write. I see it as something in the background, rather than a central part of who I am.
I have tried at various times to be a musician and a chef and an artist and to play guitar and to sing and what not… some of those things I can do – and am getting better at doing the more I do it. But I think if I look at all of those things, nothing really gives me the kind of satisfaction that I receive when I sit down and let my thoughts pour out. None of them have allowed me to connect with other people the way that my writing does.
What I appreciate the most about this whole reverb10 enterprise is the fact that I am discovering so much about myself. I’m letting go of doubts and self-denial and I’m just taking the risk. I’m putting it out there. And it feels so freakin’ good to say it!
I am a writer! And I can’t wait to see where this realization takes me.