I am a Writer.

I am participating in the ‘Writing Contest: You Are A Writer’ held by Positive Writer.

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It happened just a few weeks ago. I received an email from someone I was working with for a church committee. He wrote an article for the church newsletter I put together, and it needed to be condensed to also fit in the church bulletin. I offered to help. He liked my work and said in his email, “You should be a writer!”

I smiled and said to myself, “That’s because I am a writer!” And that was it! The first time I actually called myself a writer. It wasn’t heard outside my own head, but it has always been my head that needed to hear it most.

You would think someone with a degree in journalism, who blogs at three sites, would have called herself a writer years ago, but that hasn’t been the case. I was a “reporter” and “a person who sometimes writes,” but the phrase “I am a writer” was not in my vocabulary.

I’ve written before about my battle with words, how they swirl in my head and beg to be released from the prison in my brain. I’ve written before about why I didn’t call myself a writer, because I was too random about writing in this space. I never called myself a writer, even though I was writing.

I remember one summer as a kid when my brother and I made a newsletter talking about what was happening in our neighborhood. The summer after my freshman year of college, I sent a cheesy form letter to my college friends, asking about their summers. They all replied, and I published stories in a newsletter about what everyone was up to. (I mailed it out via snail mail, of course, since that was before it was common to have reliable internet access in your home.) My first job after graduating from college was with a news agency, and I gradually did more and more writing and even got some stories with “writer” behind my byline. When I left that job, my editor gave me a pen. “Keep writing,” she said. I’ve been writing and editing my church newsletter for nearly 13 years. Yet, if someone asked me if I was a writer, I hemmed and hawed and stuttered. “Well, sometimes I like to write,” I’d say.

I know I’m not alone in this battle to call oneself a writer. It seems a similar story for anyone who delves into the creative life, whether it be painting, sculpting or stringing together words. If you are a teacher, you teach people. If you are a plumber, you fix pipes. If you are a writer, you write. Right? It shouldn’t matter where or how often or if you’ve been published or paid.

Maybe I just needed more time to figure myself out. Maybe I needed the experience of writing regularly, which I have this year over at The Journey. Maybe I was afraid of admitting the truth because I don’t know where it will lead.

Whatever the issue, I’m over it. I’ve made the declaration, and I’m probably diving into deeper battles. But at least one thing is clear now:  I am a writer.

 

 

Magnificent Weather

We have had the most amazing weather for winter in Iowa! We had a few dustings of snow in December that were gone by the end of the day. Lately, we’ve had temperatures in the 50s and even 60s, which is almost unheard of for this time of year.

Usually — the past few years especially — my kids look like this:

Recently, they’ve been spotted like this:

  

To say we’re not complaining would be an understatement!

And this is what Magnificence Mondays is all about. We must bottle up the beauty of a warm winter day, so that when the snow starts flying we can remember the goodness and bundle up against the cold wind that tries to steal our joy.

 

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This post is part of Magnificence Mondays. Do you have something marvelous to share? A story, a picture, or anything that comes to mind. Write a post or comment below! And more importantly, notice and remember.

Blog Spotlight: Stuff Christians Like

I do hope to get something written here sometime, but until then, I’ll refer you to someone who writes funny stuff every day. The Stuff Christians Like blog is one of my new favorites.

You can read his “about” page here to find out how the writer, Jonathan Acuff, got started. I see it as he uses his gifts of humor and writing to help people laugh, learn and think a little.

I particularly like Wednesdays, because he posts something more serious under the category “serious Wednesdays.” Today’s post is a good one!

Hello world!

My husband is great at math. Well, he’s great at a lot of things, math being one of them. He can easily calculate things in his head. That’s the way his brain works. [My brain does not work that way.]  It’s one of his gifts.

I am always thinking of story ideas. That’s how my brain works. I’m starting to view it as a gift. I’ve had a desire in recent months to do more writing, to act on some of these story ideas. I didn’t know what I’d do with them, though. Would I just write some stuff and store it on my computer in case it could be used in the future? Should I look for some publication that wants a writer? What are my motives? When do I really think I’ll spend time writing in my *abundance* of free time?

Then, a light bulb came on in my brain … I could blog! I’ve been blogging on our family site for several months now, but I’m slow. Another aspect of my brain function. I already have the family site, but I feel like these story ideas don’t fit there. So, I’m starting blog number two. Several years ago, when I first heard about blogging my initial thought was, “Really? Have we become a society that is so self-centered that we think the whole world wants to hear our opinions?” LOL! Oh the comedy! Now I have two blogs.

I hope I’m not so arrogant to believe that everyone is dying to hear what goes on in my brain. You’re welcome to never come back here. The thing is, I can’t get this writing thing out of my head. When I left a former job in the news industry, my former boss gave me a pen. It was symbolic. “Keep writing,” she said. So, here I go. I’m using my “pen.”