Saturday, December 5, 2015

No, I'm not a writer

"if it doesn't come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don't do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don't do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your typewriter
searching for words,
don't do it.
if you're doing it for money or fame,
don't do it.

if you're doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don't do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don't do it.
if it's hard work just thinking about doing it,
don't do it.
if you're trying to write like somebody else,
forget about it.
if you have to wait for it to roar out of you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you're not ready.

don't be like so many writers,
don't be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don't be dull and boring and
pretentious, don't be consumed with self-love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to sleep
over your kind.
don't add to that.
don't do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don't do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don't do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.
and there never was."
So You Want To Be A Writer, by Charles Bukowski 

Me? A writer? No, I'm not a writer. I mean, I write things, occasionally - a long Instagram captain or a heartfelt blog post - but that doesn't make me a writer. Does it? No, I don't want to be a writer. Do I? No, I'm not a writer.

But, still... 

I would go to bed at night with this quiet knocking in my head, like this idea of writing something was trying to get my attention, knocking on a door I wasn't ready to open or didn't even have the key to. It kept me up at night - thinking of all the things I had to say, wanted to say. But me? No, I'm not a writer. 

Still, the knocking was persistent and it got louder.

One Friday morning, in a mom's group I attend, we talked about being 'called' to something by God. The topic was just briefly mentioned, but this idea of writing was the first thing that came to my mind, like I was being called by God to write, and I just couldn't shake it. Knock, knock, knock... But where was that key?

It took me weeks to even start searching for that key. I thought it was just so silly. I mean, I'm not a writer! What do I have to say that no one else already has? Who would even read what I was writing? What would that even look like? How would I start? Was I even any good at writing? Did that really matter? But I'm not a writer. 

But the thoughts just kept coming - the words were pouring out into my head just begging to be written out. I have journal pages, draft blog posts, notes on my phone and unsent emails filled with words - thoughts, stories, lessons learned, things I've noticed, feelings, prayers... This knocking, this 'call' to writing, it was like someone was trying to tell me to do something with all those words - finally - to expand on those thoughts, to share those feelings. But, who, me? No, I'm not a writer.

After wrestling with this idea and all the insecurities and questions wrapped around it, I finally told Stephen. Gosh, I just felt so silly! Who am I to want to want to be a writer?! I'm not a writer! But, like the sweet and encouraging man he is, he validated all of my thoughts and worries and his push in the right direction sort of got the ball rolling (literally, he bought me a desk almost the very next day!) So, I found the key. 

But what was I going to write? A book? Ha! Heavens no! I didn't have that much to say! I still don't know exactly what to say, what that looks like or even how to start, just that I need to. 

I want to write something that matters - I have something to say, and someone, somewhere, needs to hear it. Maybe it's you. 

I can't ignore the knocking any longer. It's too damn loud. 

So, this is me, turning the key and unlocking the door. 

Does this make me a writer? 


  1. You sound like a writer to me :) go get it mama! Always inspiring to see other mamas chasing their dreams :)

    1. You are so sweet! Thank you, thank you!!

  2. Playing catch up with your posted this the day I woke up in Yangon, Burma! And I read it, somewhere along the way, and smiled... I am all too familiar with the 'knocking in my head"...have had that knocking my whole life and am finally just beginning to turn off the "I'm not a writer" voice and dial up the, "YES I AM" dial! Don't let self-doubt take you as long and as far as it has taken me...because, baby girl, you already ARE a writer.
    Love you mostest.