I love the early mornings. Quiet. Still. Peaceful. A perfect time for writing. This morning I am thinking about the gift of writing (and words in general) and the responsibility that comes along with it. Over the course of the years, I’ve tried to get away from it. See, I know people don’t always value words, well, not until they need one that is. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard, “People can’t make money writing”. “It’s ok as a hobby”. “I KNOW you write, but what do you REALLY do?” “Are you writing… again?”
I will admit, at times “I let” other people’s (one in particular) negative voices temporarily hinder my writing process (my fault, not theirs)- not because I questioned my ability & responsibility to write, but simply because I was tired and drained by negativity- especially from those whom I assumed (Mistake #1) would be supportive. It didn’t matter that I had lots of people admiring my work, that I was responsible for putting out an amazing magazine, editing other incredible writer’s work,… Writing didn’t fit their definition of work and they saw no immediate benefits.
Writers are not always taken seriously and sometimes they are even looked upon as lazy- as someone trying to get out of “real work”. However, real writers are just the opposite. They feel a call and a responsibility to the written word- for sharing it- for giving the readers something specific. They are usually disciplined, committed, passionate… They have to be. They know in time, if they have the guts to hold on, keep perfecting their craft, and keep letting the words spill across the paper- it’ll pay off. Think about it- no writers, no books. No writers- no presidential speeches (umm… that might not be a good example these days), no movies, no TV shows, no host monologues, no plays, no internet, no instruction manuals, no greeting cards- You’ll have singers without songs.
I’ve always been a communicator. A listener. An orator. A writer. I have to stay reminded that I don’t need anyone else’s permission, validation or approval to be who I am or to do what I do. I just need to be obedient to the call on my life, stay in communication with My Creator, stay grateful, put work in along side my leaps of faith, keep my expectations high, protect the anointing upon my life and believe God- period.
I’m proud of my work. It takes discipline, hard work, commitment, sacrifice, passion and great fortitude. I often sit up late and get up early. I endure the “Why are you at the computer again”, “Why are you not doing it this way”, “Why don’t you have something out yet”, and the “Why are you writing? People don’t buy books any more”. I can endure it because I have finally come to an understanding of what my words represent and what they offer.
My words are like my kids. I nurture them. I’ve watch them grow and expand into areas that many folks have yet to see. I pour my heart into them in hopes that they will stand on their own- stand with power and change the world one life and one word at a time.
I’m thankful for and humbled by the gift to inspire hope, to challenge, to engage, to encourage, and to empower people through the written and spoken word. I’ll never minimize what God has given me. My words are a powerful tool. They have stepped into places that people cannot go. They build bridges to help people get to the other side. They help rebuild people who have been torn down, disregarded and often discarded. They can navigate through twisted thinking, areas of shame, depression, addiction, hopelessness and helplessness. They can reach into prison cells, broken hearts and even messed up minds.
My words are an extension of who I am and part of my legacy that will live on long after I am gone- holding within them an eternal ability to inspire and give hope. And tell me, who doesn’t need that?