On Being a Writer
It has taken nearly 90 publications, one acceptance to Chicken Soup for the Soul (Believing in Angels Edition,coming out in January 2022), and now a fresh nearly ready-to-be-born book baby, to finally admit…I am a writer.
Months, even years, of rejections wounded my already wounded pride and struggling belief in myself.
I literally had an editor (one of the first to take a chance on me and say: “Girl, you’ve got…something”) tell me, at a later date, that my writing was suffering, and I had lost that certain something he discovered earlier.
It killed me. Cut me in two. Broke me open and quite frankly, infuriated me!
It also made me want to prove him wrong. His harsh critique was no doubt a blessing in disguise.
I reluctantly, and somewhat dispassionately, took his advice and made attempts to hone this passion that was born in my soul, but not realized until later in life.
This same editor reached out to me a couple of weeks ago.
His vain attempt at an apology went something like this: ”Maybe I was a bit harsh on you. Nothing personal. You have a gift; we just need to target some problem areas. Send me your latest unpublished piece and let’s see what you have been up to.”
With a gleam in my eye and a spark in my heart, I sent him five pieces (rather than the one he requested).
He accepted one of those I sent, which felt like a vindictive redemption. But more than that, he applauded my work. He said he could tell I did not give up and, while possibly pouting about his rude critique (how did he know?)….I listened.
My circle of friends is small. I see myself as the infamous ‘Hotel California’ of relationships. “You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.” As creepy and psychopathic as this sounds, it simply means that I hold those few closest to me very tightly.
They often have to contend with me staring off into space, contemplating a new writing piece, while they are talking about their latest adventure.
Or, taking random photos in public because a certain image sparked a possibly story in my mind.
Or, stopping someone mid-sentence, and asking if I can quote the fabulously insightful or uproariously comedic comment they just made.
Writers are not made, they are born.
The grammatical rules and lexical logistics can be taught, but the passion to express oneself in written form, to so encapsulate a feeling deep within the recesses of one’s soul, that is a passion that cannot be learned.
That is an intrinsic ability that is simply felt, known, loved, and gifted from the great creator above.
I wake up every morning with a deep abiding fear that my mind will greet me with a blank canvas. No words. No stories. No reflections to draw upon. Nothing. Nada. Darkness.
I pray every day to be inspired by life events worthy of a story. And the words with which to tell said story that resonates with anyone willing to read them.
I do not take this gift lightly. I know that spiritual gifts, just like earthly gifts, relationships, blessings, and heart’s desires can be snuffed out at any moment. This, at the all-knowing discretion of the One who provides such treasured blessings, that His children often take for granted will always be there.
“4There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues.[b]11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.“1 corinthians 12:4 (niv)
We never know when a certain relationship, spiritual gift, or life calling may be snuffed out like a once brightly burning candle met by an unexpected breeze entering the room. All we have is the present moment in which to celebrate the blessings from above and pray for the wisdom to use them effectively in bringing glory to the One who daily provides.