Saturday, October 6, 2012

What happens to a dream deferred?

Writing has been a dream of mine since I first graffitied the walls of my sister's bedroom with a green crayon. In any group of which I've been a part, any position I've held, any event I've organized....I have gravitated to the aspect of that role which allows me to write. If I could rewind time, I'd ignore every person who told me I'd never make any money and instead focus on those people who told me it was most important to do what you love. 

A few years ago, I pressed pause on a promising Master's degree in Counseling and took an interview to write features for a local publication. After writing for three years, I still stumble over the admission that I am a writer. At first I thought I'd only feel comfortable admitting it once I was published.  Then I thought I'd only feel comfortable once I was paid. As it turns out, I'd probably feel more comfortable sky-diving in a tornado while holding five rattlesnakes than admit that I am "writer." No, I am far more comfortable saying I'm writer in the works.

Writing is a bit tricky in our world today when every goldfish swimming in a fish bowl has their own blog and the definition of "published" is a moving, ever-changing target. The pressure to stand out as creative and strong, authentic and not cliche is more than ever, to me. Just gathering my writing samples, updating my resume and trying to understand what a "media specialist" means is almost enough to make me reconsider. Recently I decided not to approach my writing so formally as a career, but to "find where your gifts and your passions intersect" as my wise mother told me years ago.  I realized that if I have anything to offer the world, if God truly did give me the gift of writing, then I must only write what He finds useful for me to say. Additionally, it may behoove me to reign in my run-on sentence habit. *

My recent decision to begin writing in my own voice has taught me something critical already....  creativity can not be commanded, only inspired. I am grappling with this, since my insights have a tendency to show up unannounced and only when I have a half-melted crayon and a children's bulletin within arm's reach.

Thank you for following me in this dream. I am not sure where it might lead but I hope to make it worth your while.

*Note to self: find some editor friends willing to work pro-bono. Supply plenty of wine so they will be totally honest.

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