(from that glorious day in Maui spent on the beach getting a wicked sunburn on my back)
I am a writer.
No, I'm not paid to write.
I don't have novels with my name on them stacked on shelves or piles of magazines with my short stories printed in them. I've never been published. I've never been given actual American dollars to put pen to paper. But I read Stephen King's book "On Writing" and he says that if you write, even for yourself, then you are a writer. You write for your sanity, not for a pay check. I feel like he's earned enough credit as a writer to define who as writer is, don't you? Thank you, Mr. King. I am definitely in that boat. The one where sanity wins after the words finally finish spilling out.
This past December thirty-first, I completed an entire year of writing every day. Mostly in a journal. My favorite form has always been pen and paper. Computers are great and all, but they just don't hold the same punch.
Anyway, I wrote every single day. Okay I may have forgotten -or fallen into bed too exhausted- 3 times, but I went back the next morning and filled in the missing day's entry. My journal went with me to Hawaii and Utah. It followed me on trips home to see my parents. It was always in my carryon for easy access.
I wrote what I did that day. I wrote what was on my heart. I wrote out my tears and frustrations and there were a lot of them last year. I wrote out my joys and the times when things were good. I wrote about books I finished and loved. I wrote about The Walking Dead and The Good Wife. I wrote when I was scared. I wrote about being lonely. I wrote when I didn't understand why things were happening and didn't have the answers. I wrote about dear friends and the times I felt loved and cared for. I wrote about what God was teaching me. I wrote when I was angry at Him too. I was honest. Brutally so.
And then the year ended. But I couldn't put my journal down. I was more hungry to write than I had ever been. Can I tell you after doing a 365 challenge (see my other year long 365 projects like a-photo-a-day or the Bible in a year) that same thing you loved can become the one thing you almost dread. It can feel like a chore. When I read the Bible through in a year, it felt like a chore. The day after I finished, I read just a handful of verses and Jesus and I had a glorious time together. And I still take a lot of photos, but certainly not one every single day.
But writing...it just captures me. Nonsense, good-sense, no-sense. I love it all. I love to end the day with full journal pages and a mind at ease.
Now there are things I would love to write. A novel. A completed story. A devotional. A play. Whatever else sounds fun. And maybe one day those things will come. I take comfort in people like Julia Child who didn't begin cooking, like, didn't even know how, until she was in her late 30's. There's still time for me, if there was still time for Julia, right?
So for today, I am a writer. A writer of dreams and hopes. Of a life lived. Of tiny insignificant details. I may be the only one to ever read this story. And that's okay.
I...I am a writer.
(it's crazy to say that out loud)