On a Tuesday, after a surprise spring storm (which my boss sent me running through to deliver what would turn out to be a very rain-splattered commission check) I had the joy of riding home from work with my fiance. Normally I drive myself and although the radio is decent company, Chase is always preferred.
While we were driving over the wet ground and under the bright sky, I was encouraged to hear that he had just been reading not one post, not two, but my entire blog. Then he proceeded to say lots of nice things that are far beyond what I deserve.
Since the beginning of getting to know him, it’s been clear to me that reading my blog was part of what inspired him to pop out of nowhere and pursue me with more determination than any boy ever has. In short, my writing helped Chase, well, chase me. (clearly it wasn’t my comedic genius.)
I have been asked several times why I started writing a blog. If you look back far enough you’ll find that it started as a place to share my artwork for my senior independent study. But the writing, the part where thoughts and feelings are posted for anyone to see, that’s the part that has been questioned, not always in a cynical light but often out of innocent curiosity.
Despite how things turned out, the purpose was not to attract a dashing husband. It was a much simpler equation: I love to write and I ought to write.
Before I could write on my own, my young and unreasonably small-for-her-age self would illustrate storybooks, then dictate to anyone who was willing the words I wanted on each page. Seeing as my mother was not a stenographer, she quickly became irritated with this and told me I had to write my own stories. Forced to battle spelling and grammar alone (because “How do you spell ____________?” every other second became equally as annoying) storybook writing became less of a game and more of a self-inflicted chore. But as a child who thought too much and spoke too little, it was a chore I was always determined to master. And as I worked at it, I became increasingly less willing to let anyone read anything I wrote. Even things that were trivial and impersonal had to be hidden away and guarded as a total secret. As a little word hoarder, nothing was quite so conflicting as the teacher choosing to read my work aloud to the class. Hurray! She thinks I’m talented…. Oh no! She’s reading it out loud.
While valiant efforts at “I don’t care what they think,” were repeated in my head, the only true comfort was in knowing that the particularly judgmental classmates couldn’t be bothered to listen anyways. My writing was still safe and sound. However, wanting something to be “safe and sound” can often just be a thinly veiled form of cowardice.
As someone who enjoys singing and acting, I know that the more those talents are preformed, the more they improve. Writing is much the same. I can spend my whole life scribbling on notebook paper then tucking it away in a drawer (Which I still often do. This blog is heavily censored by yours truly, not a journal.) but that will never improve who I am in the same way that saying, “Here is what my creator has given me. Let me share it,” has already done.
If every poem and painting I ever unfolded was hidden forever, I would still continue because I delight in creating art and I know God does too. But if I can further share this delight, I will.
Just as those who love baking ought to make cookies to be eaten and those who love sewing ought to fashion clothes to be worn, those who love writing ought to form stories to be read.
I have been so deeply blessed by the writing of others. And I know that those writers have been deeply blessed by sharing that which they have been given.
So to all the writers, write. If you are like me, you will become braver and bolder. You will not falter so easily under fear and intimidation.
And as an added bonus, a cute nerdy boy might recognize you and yell at you from across the street. But that is completely beside the point.