Friday, October 30, 2009

Learning to Write

Am I a writer?

I'm not sure!

I've written a book. I think most people would consider this simple fact adequate justification for calling myself a writer. Except for the teensy little fact that most people (fewer than 10 at last count) have no idea I've written a book.

And, I'm 35 and just now diving in to this strange world. Prior to this year, I've rarely felt the compulsion to pull the words from my head and put them onto the page. Aren't I a little old to suddenly feel the need to write? Doesn't this insanity usually afflict people at a much younger age?

But, as I started thinking about it, I remembered that there have been times when I simply had to write. And, the desire to write is beginning to feel more and more like a compulsion, maybe - yikes - even a calling. I'm not sure what to make of it. I'm not sure what's happening. But it is happening.

In March, I sat down and started writing a book. I finished the initial draft in August. I submitted it to a contest at the end of September. I started taking a writing class. I've started another book. Just last week, I felt the need to write a non-fiction piece about a very difficult time in my life. I came in, put my sweet son down for his nap, and totally ignored the laundry and housework until the words were staring back at me from the screen. It was compulsory. And I loved it.

But, what I particularly love is what happened today. A dear friend is hurting. And the words I wrote a week ago were the exact words I wanted to say to her. So I sent them her way. And I'm loving the idea that the Lord may have had me write them last week so she can read them this week.

Is the reason I shy away from calling myself a writer embarrassment? Fear of rejection? Fear of failure? Fear of commitment?

Yes - to all.

But, whether I'm prepared to call myself a writer or not, I'm still writing. And I'm just wondering where it is all going to lead.