One of my childhood dreams was to be a writer. I used “dream” instead of “ambition” because it was not something I took very seriously then. I joined the Young Author’s Club at school and wrote a few short stories when I was young. All four years of high school, I had one semester of writing with Mrs. Dean . That was my favorite class, and she was my favorite teacher. Outside of school, I rarely wrote.
The idea of writing has nagged at me a handful of times in the 20+ years since I sat at the computer in Mrs. Dean’s classroom. But even though my husband and a few others have more recently encouraged me, I still have not really done anything with it. Inside of me, however, that dream has been taking root.
I spent countless hours in the last 3 years working on finishing my bachelor’s degree, and that has been my excuse for not writing (besides class papers and an honors thesis and a research project, of course). I will be continuing on to graduate school, but I have a year to wait. Over the last few months, as the end of school was in sight, I started thinking that I could spend this in between time writing. I listed it in my 2017 goals. I registered for a Christian writer’s conference this fall. I shared my plans with a couple close friends.
In the two weeks since I turned in my last school assignment, I have written “write” on my to-do list almost every day. I would have been happy with only a journal entry, although regular blogging would be better. It’s only been two weeks, which is so small in the timeline of my life, but I keep crossing it off the list (not as “finished”, but as “nah, not gonna do that”). I blame busyness, but it is fear.
Fear holds me back.
I’m afraid of a lot of things, but a random comment on someone else’s blog about the weight of responsibility and humility for writers and other public figures sums up a big chunk of my fear.
I am not an author or blogger and God knows that the world of social media doesn’t need one more. I sometimes struggle with the multitude of Christians who seem to be craving an enormous influence with people that they will probably never even know this side of eternity.
Every time I think of a reason I should write, I also think of a reason I shouldn’t. Feeling like there are already so many writers goes under the latter. Discerning which reasons are fact and which are fiction, which are meaningful and which are bogus, is work. It’s hard work that involves God seeking and soul searching. I don’t have any answers, at least not definitive ones. But I know my heart tugs at me to write.
I don’t know what kind of writer I am or what kind of writer I will be. Maybe I will write a book. Maybe two. Maybe with a fancy publishing house. Maybe self-published. Maybe I will become famous. Maybe I will only have a blog with 3 regular readers (my husband and my mom being 2 of them). But I know that, at least for right now, and at least for my own benefit, I need to write.
And a random person online who doesn’t think there is room for another writer in the world doesn’t get to decide that for me.
One thought on “Who Decides”
I’d like to encourage you to write! It doesn’t have to be a contest unless you want it to be. Writing is powerfully therapeutic even if you don’t show it to anyone. And if you do show it to anyone, not necessarily a large audience, it’s a way to connect, like sincere conversation. Beyond that, you’ve had an experience that gives you a rare (if not pleasant) vantage from which to understand human vulnerability. Your sharing your experiences helps others access and accept their own vulnerable places.
Which you already know, I bet.