About 15 years ago I emailed a friend asking him if I was a writer. He wrote back, "If you're a writer, then write". That was it. No, "Love ya much". No, "Sincerely, Your Friend...". Not even a, "Respectfully Yours". In fact, I don't think he even signed his name.
His response was curt, abrupt and kinda hurt. I had hoped for a friendly and encouraging exchange, with him affirming some great gifting in me and passing along his sage advice. Boy, was I was disappointed. But all these years later, I finally see great wisdom in his sparse response.
Several people over the years had told me that I was a good writer. Like a good girl I'd say, "thank you", but promptly lodged the words on a dark shelf in the back of my mind. I didn't believe in me or that I had any value, let alone any value in what I had to say. But, occasionally, those kind words would sneak out into the light and tempt me. One day they caught me off guard, in a weak moment, and I signed up for a few writing classes. To my own great surprise, I actually showed up for all of them (after all, I paid for them), and enjoyed every one. But mostly I just stuck with my little journals or scribbled on stray scraps of paper, or kept all of my thoughts in my head until they floated away in cartoon balloons and I was left to eat chocolate, which wasn't so bad.
My husband would ask, "when are you going to write that book?", to which I'd mumble some poo-poo response. Occasionally I would ponder starting a blog and when I'd hear, here and there, that a friend or family member had started a one, I'd be surprised to discover I felt jealous. Even so, attempts at follow-through only dissolved into false starts. As soon as I'd even approach the idea to write, that niggling voice in my mind would sneer, "you'll never follow through. It might sound good in your head at this brief moment, but nobody'll want to read what you have to say".
Taunting. Taunting me it was...
Until very recently when my heart and soul finally succumbed in unison to the comforting sweet love of my Heavenly Creator. The Whisperer of Love and Healing. He's been working on this project, me, for a long time and I'm not sure how He's done it, but He's filled my heart with feeling that insists on being expressed and heard. Though, I do wonder, will I really do this? Will I write to keep from eating? Write to keep from drowning in the abyss of a billion thoughts? Write to remember? Write to forget? Write whether I'm good at it or not? Write whether anyone reads it or not? Write to breathe? Write to survive? Write with one hand on the keyboard, the other clenched defiantly in a fist raised like a shield pursuing what God has put in me..? Whew..!
Uhhh... humm... this... this is the wisdom my friend was trying to tell me! Instead of abrupt, it's just insisting. Instead of curt, it's just urgent to be heard.
It's really quite simple. If I'm a writer, then I should write.