I have begun writing a book. Kind of. I mean, I have, but in no way does it resemble a book just yet. Mostly it looks like lists and paragraphs that aren’t cohesive. But outlining and list making and writing writing writing and deleting deleting deleting is part of the process. Figuring out what the process is, is also part of the process. At any rate, I’m writing a book because I have always wanted to write a book. I want to join in with women like Shauna Niequist (love me some Shauna) and Sarah Bessey and Katie Heaney. I have things to say, darn it! I am officially finished telling myself that I am unable to do the thing in which God has given me a passion to do.
I am finally creating something that I want to create. I am owning a talent that God has given me. I am reflecting my Creator by also creating. This feels good. A sweet friend of mine shared a podcast with me (I think that the only reason podcasts are still around is because christians spread that jank like wildfire. So iTunes, you’re welcome) about claiming the gifts and the talents that we’ve been convincing ourselves we don’t have. I’ve spent most of my life believing that every one else had gifts and I kind of had an ability that resembled a talent but it wasn’t ACTUALLY anything so, like, pay it no nevermind. I have been lied to. And you have been lied to. We have all been lied to by the greatest of all liars that “it’s everyone else, but not you. Other people can write a book, create music, defend justice, proclaim truth, etc. butttt… you can’t. Awkward”.
Claiming things is scary because once you claim something as yours, you have to work at it and be confident in it and be bold. I made a decision to say “I’M A WRITER!” when people ask what my deal is and I try to not have too many disclaimers like “but not like, a writer writer. I actually have no idea what I am doing”. No, I’m not published and yes, most of my readers are my family (hey, sisters!) but writing is what I love! So I’m a writer. And that’s that.
I don’t think I have ever felt more vulnerable in my entire life than I have the last few weeks when someone has asked me what my book is about. Telling them about what I’m writing feels a lot like spilling out my soul, and that is nerve-wracking in any scenario. It’s about me and friends and love and God and feminism and lots of bits and pieces that I adore, but when people ask me about it I tend to become ashamed that I’m not writing the most influential novel of the twenty first century. Or lame because I didn’t actually study english and I can’t tell you the first thing about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s use of symbolism. I have claimed writing as mine, but I worry that I don’t fit into what other people believe a writer is.
But at the end of the day, I am creating. I am writing the words that God and experiences and life puts into my head. I am working and it feels good to work. Right, even. And as long as I am using the talents that are rightfully mine from my Father as opposed to pushing them away under the impression that gifts are for everyone else, I’ll be just dandy. I don’t need to fit into a certain idea of what a writer is and is not, I need only be brave and bold and proactive because I am allowed to be. In Christ I have freedom to be who I am. And so do you. Go on and shout “THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO, NO MATTER HOW LOFTY OR OUT OF CHARACTER OR DIFFICULT IT IS. THIS IS WHAT I WANT” because there are too many books and films and recipes that haven’t been created out of the belief that it’s everyone else but you.
And as an aside, an incredibly large factor that has led me to begin writing a book is the incredibly awesome people who have said “hey, you should write a book”. The friends who text me encouragement after reading blog posts, the family members who share my posts on facebook –every encouraging thing that anyone has ever said has not just wafted past unnoticed. I notice. And I thank you sincerely.
p.s, I ate an entire pan of brownies while writing this. I guess you truly didn’t need to know that but I suppose I felt like confessing. I’m also supposed to go “running” with my roommates in an hour but that’s just simply not going to happen. Eh.
p.p.s, don’t forget to enter for a chance to win a copy of Eugene Cho’s new book on social justice entitled”Overrated” here by saturday the 11th!