When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, “I used everything you gave me.” ~ Erma Bombeck
For many years I refused to refer to myself as a ‘writer.’ John Steinbeck is a writer, Ernest Hemingway, Margaret Atwood, Truman Capote are writers, literary figures whose words leave eternal imprints. It is similar to those who call themselves ‘musicians’ when they only know five chords on the piano, or practice drums in their garage, once every month. I did not want to place some title upon myself that was undeserved, especially when I didn’t feel like a writer. Eventually after five years of writing classes and many, many critiques, I got over it and faced the inevitable – I am a writer. Despite if I’m uncomfortable wearing the label, or I have yet to be published. I cannot shake away the desire to story tell, to explain life in my words; I acquiesce the urge of pouring forth thoughts, ideas, memories, my interpretations of what happens around me.
See, there is a line drawn between those who were born writers, and those who simply just like to write. And unless you are one of those true writers you probably have no clue the line even exists. But we know it is there… We flinch at the ramblings, the incomplete sentences, the cliches…. most especially the cliches. Anyone can write of the sun shining, the rain falling, the leaves changing, etc. We all experience these things, therefore we all have an opinion. Writing, however, is so much more. Writing allows for someone to pick their way through the complexities and layers of life, to explore the areas most will avoid. Writers pick up their chisel and will make their cuts, sometimes precisely, sometimes wildly, but always purposefully.
Writers have this special gift of observing our world in uncommon ways, forming unique connections most miss. We watch, we assess, we examine, we prod, and are never quite satisfied. There must be more!
Why do I write this? What is my point?
I have to write! I just have to. I would be throwing away what God has given me if I didn’t. But to put all these thoughts and feelings of mine out there for all to read and judge leaves me in a very vulnerable position. I would like to say I have tough skin, and can let things roll off my back without a flinch… but I try not to be a liar. I am uncomfortable, and feel awkwardly inadequate when posting all these
outlandish small opinions of mine. Thank goodness God has not called me to speak publicly; in the very least I have a computer screen to hide behind.
After publishing my last blog post, stupidly late at night, I was up for hours after unable to calm my anxious mind. I was so worried my words would get twisted, my purpose would be misinterpreted, that I would offend somehow. I never want to offend, unless it’s for a justified cause (i.e. standing up for my faith).
To be that worked up over how others are going to react is ridiculous, and a waste of energy. It is inevitable someone will read my words and walk away offended, or confused, or even annoyed. I cannot let that stop me from writing. I cannot let what talent God has given me wither simply because I lack the courage to be bold.
I absolutely love the quote above by Erma Bombeck, an author of many, many books, one of which is cleverly titled The Grass Is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank. She also had a newspaper column, and loved to use humor… much like myself. My goal is to follow suit after her. I hope I never waste what God has given me or pass up the opportunities He places before me.
Like my great-grandmother would say, “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it!”
I will humbly use “it.”
Just for an extra insight to my life, this is Mr. Green’s backyard where I sat while composing a chunk of this post tonight.
And this is Danny who was too busy trying to get love he wouldn’t cooperate for the camera.