With sadness, I set down the dish towel I was holding and leaned against the cold, white tiled counter. Outside the kitchen window, a bird sang a melancholy tune that matched my realization. I had been thinking of how much I love to write. I am a teacher by day, but when I come home I find myself writing. About anything, really.
The thing is, I get caught up on whether or not I am truly a writer. What is a writer anyway?
So as I was rinsing a dish this afternoon thinking on how much time this shelter in place would give me to work on my writing, it dawned on me that I am no writer. Or am I?
I tell myself I want to encourage people. But if I’m being honest, so often I’m really trying to encourage myself. I have accomplished a lot of really great things which I am proud of, but there are lots of times when I don’t feel respected out in the world…dismissed. I often feel like I’m just not smart enough or confident enough for others to have faith in my ideas.
I don’t know what that’s all about, or if it’s even true. But it’s what I feel.
So am I just a woman who randomly throws words upon a screen, hoping to be heard?
With writing, there is a lot of inner conflict that I didn’t know I would encounter when I started this blog two years ago. I didn’t realize I’d give too much attention to checking how many “hits” my blog gets. I didn’t know I would crave feedback as to whether or not what I was writing was any good. That wasn’t my original intent. My goal was to encourage. To help others by sharing my thoughts in case they had similar thoughts, and then to inspire them to persevere.
I do get feedback from sweet friends, and I am encouraged to keep writing. But I’m always thinking my writing could just. be. better. So if you have insecurities, writing is one of the toughest things you will ever face. I am grateful for the ones who Like or comment on my posts. It’s because of them that I keep coming back and share my thoughts. I’m hoping they will be encouraged.
I go to writing conferences, seek inspiration and advice from Facebook groups for writers, and listen to podcasts for writers. But my job keeps me busy, and I’ve never been one of those people who will come home after work and haul their laptop into a closet to stay up past midnight so they can write while the rest of the world sleeps. With my writing, I still struggle with too much of what they call telling, and too little of what they call showing.
Finished cleaning up, I set the towel down and reached for the light switch to turn off the kitchen light….and the question still remained…I couldn’t let it go. As teachers. we teach that writers write to persuade, to inform, or to entertain. I don’t really do much of that.
Why Writers Write
- To release their often complex and convoluted thoughts, providing an effective source of grounding and stress release, taking a greater burden off of their shoulders
- To speak to an audience — to get something off their chest
- To create and maintain relationships with people around the world
- To share their lives, their travel, their experiences
- To help readers by educating or inspiring an audience to develop any number of greater understanding, skills, or expertise in any given topic from baking to mountain climbing to puppy training or parenting
- To find rest and repose amidst an incredibly busy and bustling life — an oasis found through the writing process and its fruition
- To find themselves…. out of a search through hundreds of thousands of letters, words, and phrases linked together by only one unique thread of commonality, that which is the writer who steps forward with pride and craftsmanship
That. I do all of that. If I let that be my criteria, then I am a writer after all.
Good to know.
Any other writers out there? 🙂