“You should be a writer!” When I first began hearing those words – from my husband, kids, family, friends – I didn’t know how to respond. Imagine me at a loss for words! It happens occasionally, mostly because I like to choose my words carefully, because I want to mean what I say and say what I mean and that comment, “You should be a writer!” stumped me every time. Then, one day it hit me….they might as well be telling me to be a girl, or a mom or a human being. So now, when someone says “You should be a writer,” I answer, “I am.”
And I am. There are not many words I would use to define myself. After all, I am a person, not an occupation or a role. But I’ve come to believe that there are some things about us that eventually, through time or intensity, become part of who we are. There may come a day when I can no longer write, but in my heart I will always be a girl who understands herself and her world best, when she puts her thoughts into words and puts those words onto paper…or a computer.
I’ve always enjoyed writing but it was during my freshman year of high school that I realized I was actually good at it. I don’t know who I surprised more, my teacher or myself. Even today, when a certain sentence rolls off my fingertips or a thought appears on the page I think, “Wow! Where did that come from?” And that’s how I know it’s a gift. I’ve done nothing to earn or achieve the skill or insight, it’s just there.
For years, I denied myself the pleasure of writing because I believed a lie. The lie went something like this: “Your writing is a waste of time and energy. No one reads it so it doesn’t matter and writing for yourself is nothing but self-indulgence.” There were a lot more lies like that to keep me from doing what I love, but over a period of years I felt the Lord nudging me on with little messages that would crop up in the strangest places – on a talk show, in a movie, in a song, at work, online – little reminders of an idea that was at first wispy and vague. Until one day, I heard the message loud and clear: “Write, Nichole. Write! Not for fame or fortune. Not for approval or self-indulgence. Don’t write to be understood. Write to understand. Write…because you can.”
Olympic runner and Christian, Eric Liddell – the inspiration for the movie Chariots of Fire – when questioned by his sister about the time he spent training and running that could have been devoted to the mission field, answered: “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.” There is something right about doing what God has gifted us to do. I’ve heard people say that a bird brings God glory by singing her song, building her nest, digging for worms and taking flight; a tree glorifies God by growing, converting sunlight into food and swaying in the breeze. So I will write because God has gifted me to write, and because when I do, I feel His pleasure.
I am especially grateful for blogging, which provides a place, other than a journal, for me to put my thoughts without jumping into the competitive arena of publishing. Here, I imagine myself sending words out on the wind and trusting them to land where so ever they shall. At the same time, I long to reach more people, hear more feedback and engage in more dialogue with my readers. One of the cardinal rules for increasing blog traffic is to post a lot….and I mean A LOT! This presents quite a conflict for a girl resolved to write for the sake of writing, a girl who worries that she is quickly wearing out her welcome among friends. Believe me, I am just like you – bombarded and overwhelmed by words, information, choices. How can I expect you, or anyone else, to take the time to read my rambling thoughts? There are so many reasons not to write and even more reasons not to blog but then I am reminded, “Write, Nichole. Write!”
So forgive me for the times I inundate you, bore you, preach too much, don’t make any sense or whatever else I do that drives you crazy. And thank you for subscribing to my blog, for commenting on my site, sharing your thoughts with me, recommending my writing to your friends, for your patience and for indulging me. You are to me like rays of sunshine, breaking through the clouds of doubt, reminding me that I am not alone.