Sunday, October 18, 2009

I Need to Write

I need to write.

For as long as I can remember, writing has been a huge outlet for me. Through writing, I am best able to express my thoughts and feelings and convictions and questions. I am braver when I write. And when I really get on a roll, I feel more energized. Oftentimes, I end up learning something new about my relationships with God and others through my own writing. And sometimes I learn something about my relationship with myself.

I need to write.

I enjoy writing. I used to feel that my writing was less personal if I didn't do it with pen and paper. But I've now given in to the fact that typing is much faster and easier on my aging hands. That and the fact that I have a laptop, so I can sit on the couch or at the kitchen table or at a coffee shop to work on my craft. I like mobility. It seems to help with writer's block when it hits me.

I need to write.

So often I feel that things are building up inside me. And though a good cry helps, I am most helped by being able to write down my thoughts. I am able to sort through everything and analyze what is really going on in my head. Most of the time, I find that things aren't really as overwhelming as they feel. It helps me to see it on paper, because I feel that I have a better handle on it all. I don't really think that that is a control issue; it's more of a coping mechanism for me. I understand this about myself--that I get easily overwhelmed. And if writing and list-making can help me calm down and cope, well, then I'm perfectly okay with that.

I need to write.

I absolutely love bringing joy to people through my words. I enjoy being able to tell them what they mean to me through cards and letters and e-mails. And I love that they can read it over and over again, if they like. This is also why I enjoy cards and letters and e-mails so much. I love to read things over and over again. I thrive on words of encouragement. (Confession: My favorite part about selling things on eBay is getting the positive feedback.)

I need to write.

If I can make someone laugh through my telling of a funny story or making an interesting observation or coming up with something clever or witty to say, that absolutely makes my day! I adore people who can make me laugh, and I know what good medicine it is for the soul. So if I can do that for someone else . . . Wow.

I need to write.

Somehow this need is just wired in me. I think it is at least somewhat genetic, as my grandfather, my mother, and now my daughter all seem to have it. I also think that this condition intensifies with each generation, as my eight-year-old daughter has poems, essays, novels, and other works in progress stashed all over the house.

I need to write.

One of my favorite college professors, Dr. Melinda Gann, once gave us some great advice. She said that when choosing a career, we should figure out what it is that we love to do . . . and then be happy that we get paid to do it. Truth be told, it was only a few short years ago that I even realized that you could actually make some money through writing. I always wanted to be published, but it was for the sheer honor of having someone believe I had written something worth sharing. So I was thrilled to know that money actually came with the gig! Granted, I don't make much right now, but I don't really care. I am doing something I love to do. Don't get me wrong--I would be more than happy to make a lot of money through my writing. But that's not what drives me. Of course, the fact that my husband brings home plenty of bacon for our family takes the pressure off of me, too.

I need to write.

More than anything, I want to use my writing to encourage others. "We read to know that we are not alone," C.S. Lewis once said (or at least Anthony Hopkins said it when he portrayed Lewis in the movie Shadowlands). I want to share my life, the lessons I am learning, and how my faith is impacted through the gift of the written word.

I need to write.

And I think I shall.

1 comment:

Ashley said...

I am encouraged by your words often and love your writings. I guess I could say that I also need you to write :) I'm so glad you are sharing more and more of your writings with me...er, I mean, the world.