Friday, June 5, 2015

When I write

I have always loved the written word. My earliest memory of feeling the joy of reading is of lying on my grandmother's living room floor reading a comic book. Words have the power to bring laughter, to express love, to evoke fear, or make tears spill from the eyes. How powerful is that? I love that the written word can express what my mouth so often fails to translate. When speaking I am often frustrated by my inability to effectively communicate my point or my feelings. Yet, when I put my hands to the keyboard, the jumbled ball of yarn that is my thoughts begins to untangle. Unclear thoughts become clear, and I wonder if perhaps my mouth isn't actually located at the end of my fingertips!

Writing gives me great joy, though it is often filled with frustration and fear, frustration in finding just the right word to convey what my heart is saying, fear in putting myself out there, vulnerable to cyber-world, where we all know privacy is a mirage and criticism abounds. But I don't write for the approval of others. (Though let's be honest, it's nice to get it.) I write because I cannot not write. I know that God has given me a gift. Even if this gift He has given touches only one person, it is enough. It is enough because I know it's what He gave me and, ultimately, I write to please Him.

I've struggled with this whole writing thing, however, because I do what many do. I compare. I compare myself to "real" authors, published writers. But what I'm learning is that comparison is the kiss of death. Comparison will slap a pair of handcuffs on a writer faster than one can say, "I didn't do it!" Comparison shuts down the inner voice and squelches creativity. It is only when I stop comparing that I write productively and when my writing reflects and effectively communicates my intent.

I am a good writer. I am not a great writer, but I am a good one. It's hard to say that because I fear being prideful. Yet, to demean myself and say that I am not is an affront to God. After all, it is He who made me. It is He who gives gifts. It's up to us to use the gift(s) we're given well. When I write, I hope I make my Father smile.