I have always felt a little uncomfortable about calling myself a writer, partly because I don’t write full-time, but more because I felt the title constricted me. Calling myself a writer was a betrayal to my deeper calling.
I am so much more than a writer. And so are you.
I write, but I am not defined by my writing. I don’t serve writing. Rather, my writing serves me.
Writing must serve you, and not the other way around, or you will dry up and find yourself as an unemployed scribe. If you write for the sake of writing, you may find yourself staring at the blank screen trying to dredge up some scrap of words, some reason to justify your self-proclaimed title.
I surrender my title as writer. It is something I have had to do many times since 2001 when I first began writing for publication. Every time I surrender, I sense an openness and freedom, and most importantly, a stronger call to write.
There is a reason for this. Look at it this way: Where is your passion centred? Why do your feet hit the ground in the morning? I say it’s not because you believe in writing.
Rather, you believe in truth. Or beauty. Or perseverance. You use writing; you manipulate and shape writing to share your values.
For example, I feel passionate about, and possibly gifted in, teaching. I have written many lessons. I have written hundreds of children’s stories, and taught many women at Bible studies and baby showers; I have written several speeches and presentations. But I am not a writer.
I also feel passionate about truth. With a shaking pen in hand, I have written letters to my MP, my school board, and my newspaper editor. But I am still not a writer. Rather, I am a person shaped by surrender; a wife, mother, and friend nudged by a call.
There are times that I have fallen down to the empty title of writer. This is not to suggest that writers are air-heads. Instead, we should realize that writing is just ink and paper. Unless we have a purpose and a passion that transcends putting pen to parchment, we are wasting our precious energy.
Last week I made fresh rolls to welcome two new families into town. This is a way of writing on their hearts, but it can also be an opportunity to write on paper. I wrote a little devotional for them and tucked it in the basket with the rolls.
Stop calling yourself a writer, and instead, tap into who you really are, and what you profoundly believe.
In Ephesians 4:7 and Romans 12 we are told that God “gave gifts to men.” These gifts are all intended to help us serve each other. When the ink fades from our finely appointed words, these acts of kindness towards each other still linger. Writing is serving. Some of these gifts he gave us include encouragment, hospitality, teaching, and helping each other, and giving generously.
How do gifts translate into writing? When you are called to serve you will write because you must write. You will pick up your pen because you have a message that burns.
We are not merely writers, rather we use writing to express our values.
Writing, of itself, has no moral values; it is neither wrong nor right. Rather, it is pushed forward by good or evil beliefs.
You are more than a writer.
If you are unsure of your passion or your calling, try asking your spouse or friends what they see in you. They will affirm the gifts you may not recognize in yourself.