Someone recently joked with me about my writer status. I don’t recall the exact wording, but the conversation was something like,
Him: “You say you’re a writer, but what have you published?”
Me: “A few newspaper articles, and I have a regular blog, plus I’ll be submitting my manuscript after I do the rewrite, then most likely work on finishing the other three manuscripts I have in progress. How about you?” (as politely as possible)
Him: “Well nothing, but…”
I didn’t take it personally, but it made me think about the definition of what a writer really is. I think most people think of a writer as someone who has published at least a few books and probably made a decent living doing it. However, that may not always be the case.
Merriam Webster defines a Writer as follows;
When I think of a writer, I think of a person who writes something… anything…. because he or she loves to write, and is passionate about their chosen topics, genres, or styles – Period. Whether or not that person is a published author, is something different, and not necessarily the goal for everyone who writes. A writer may or may not ever want the world to see his or her work, and that’s okay. It doesn’t make them less of a writer.
What does bother me, is that there are people out there who believe if another person doesn’t fit their idea of what something is, then there’s no way they could possibly ever be that. They’re wrong. A person is who or what they believe they are and feel passionate about, regardless of what another person tries to validate them as.
I have one son, who is a gifted artist. The man has a great deal of natural talent in drawing, and really should do what he can to pursue a career in the art field. He also happens to be a meat cutter for a major grocery chain. That doesn’t make him not an artist.
Yet another two of my sons are quite the talented guitarists and singers. They also happen to work for an influential men’s clothier, and wear custom made suits to work each day. That doesn’t mean they aren’t singers and guitarists.
I could go on, but for now, I’ll let it rest there.
So what’s the point?
What you do for your employment, doesn’t define you. Your natural, God-given talents are a real and viable part of who you are as a person. Your job, is just what you’ve been trained to do for money, so you can sustain your lifestyle and survive.
King David started out as the youngest son of a farmer a sheep breeder. No one would have believed the son of a sheep breeder would ever be the King of Israel and direct ancestor of Jesus of Nazareth, who was a carpenter, and became the Messiah. But they were and they did.
Got that? Your job is what you do. Not who you are.
So who are you? What do you want to be? What can you do to make that happen? Do you want to do it professionally, or is it just for fun? There is no right or wrong answer. Only you, (and God) should be allowed to define who and what you are, and never take someone else’s word or opinion for it, because they aren’t you.
So who are you?
C.A. Bennett – Writer
The last sentence of the following passage in Matthew is so, so important, especially when we’re struggling with a situation that causes us pain; “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
And then in James, when the Lord shows us there’s a reason for our trials, and that it will all be okay if we only trust Him and are obedient to Him.
Matthew 28:16-20 – After Jesus rose from the grave….
“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Happy Sunday! May you be blessed as in Philippians 4:7 – “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
C.A. Bennett – Writer (by God’s grace)
How hard could it be, right? You take your awesome ideas, and put them on paper, you send them off to the publisher, and BLAMMO! You’re an author! For years, I’ve had people listening to my stories and reading things I’ve written, only to tell me, “You should write a book! You’re a natural writer! And for the most part, I agree with them, simply because it’s just what I’ve always done. Since I was old enough to hold my first pencil, I would write my “stories” and read nonsensical scribblings to my mother, my grandparents, and anyone else who’d listen. As I grew older, and learned to read and write, I was doing almost nothing but reading or writing whenever I had free time. It’s just who I am. I’m a writer.
But getting an entire book written isn’t that simple. An essay, is one thing. It’s no big deal. Assign me an essay about something – anything – and I can give you as many pages as you need, and get at least a B on it. No big deal. But a book… that’s another story. Writing a book requires you to take a very personal part of who you are, and show it to the world one letter at a time, one word at a time, one idea at a time. And every single word is, in itself, an idea of it’s own. For example; I can be moving along in the process of writing my prose, and suddenly the wheels come to a screeching halt, because I get hung up on what word I want to use to accurately convey the idea of the scene. You’d think that would be easy, right? It’s not. Every descriptive word has it’s own ability to evoke an emotion, and if you use the wrong word, the sentence, paragraph… heck, the whole darn page won’t make sense! And it’s all because of one little word. Sometimes I overthink it.
But it’s not just that. When you write an essay, you have some sort of topic that needs researching, then you decide on your argument, and build your essay around that. Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy! A book that is in the fiction genre is created out of nothing, and made into something. Sometimes that nothing can be something-based, and you will see situations you recognize from real life. Nevertheless, fiction is still the building of something which does not exist, into something which does, and it has to make so much sense that you – the reader – believes it’s real… word-by-word… letter-by-letter. That’s hard.
In my particular case, I am writing a fantasy fiction, so there are very few things from the real world, and many things from the fantasy world, which I am building as I go. Every creature, every person, every situation, and conversation, completely non-existent until I put them on paper. An entire world created from absolutely nothing but an idea. Not only do you have to believe what I’m telling you – or hopefully showing you – but you also have to be able to see it in your minds eye, even though it does not exist in reality, and you have no idea what it is, because you’ve never seen it before. Tough job, right?
So I told you all that to tell you this…
Lately, I’ve had a rough time finishing – yes, you read that right… finishing… my book, which is now 9 days past the deadline. The climax is gearing up, things are happening, people are interacting, and there’s just all this crazy drama, which is all great, but I’ve been having a tough time getting more than a paragraph or two done in a day… sometimes a week… for about the past 6 weeks. It’s all because of that real-life stuff happening and distracting the daylights out of me. It’s been so tough, I’ve even thought about giving up and putting the book away for good. Maybe starting something else, and forgetting about this one. Maybe forgetting all about trying to to it in the first place. I even managed to talk myself into believing that I couldn’t do it, and maybe I wasn’t a writer after all, even though I’d been writing all this time, and had an almost complete manuscript sitting on my desk, just waiting for me to finish it.
And then it it me – Thomas A. Edison once said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Well I… am not a failure, and I’ve never given up on anything in my life. I’m darn sure not gonna start quitting now! I am *this close* to the finish line, aka the end of the book, and I will have successfully created a whole big something out of nothing. So I made a decision; I’m not going to let me, talk me out of my victory. I’m not going to be the person who gives up just before her breakthrough. Today, I got my typewriter and sat down, making the decision to write a full page, single spaced, non-formatted, literally line after line of word after word, until I had a least one filled 8.5″x 11″ page written. And ya know what? I did it. And it was pretty good!
So my dear friends… if you are struggling, and things seem like they just aren’t going to work out, and you just want to give up, remember me and my book. One of these days… hopefully sooner rather than later… you’re going to see that book on the shelf of your local book store and library. When you do, I hope if nothing else, it inspires you to keep going, and don’t give up. You may be closer than you think.
C.A. Bennett – Writer