It was a regular Tuesday morning. I had just awoken to the sound of my alarm (which I am nearly deaf to) after hitting snooze who-knows-how-many times and trying my best to keep my eyes open to no avail.
I had written a blog post the night before, so as I always do on Tuesday mornings before starting my day, I skimmed through likes, comments, and my blog feed.
Do you ever read a blog post wherein the author says something fabulous about another blogger and it makes you want to check them out? Well, that happened to me. I read a post recommending a blog and read a few posts.
The first line that popped out to me was this:
“I’m not a writer…”
Wait…what? You’re not a writer? You have a fabulous blog and you’re not a writer? What is this madness? Aren’t all cool people writers? (Apparently not.)
This is what got me.
I am not a writer. I am a blogger, among other things. One that keeps telling herself that someday, I’m going to write a book, and someday, I am going to get a fantastic idea that sticks with me and become really popular and everyone will love me.
Maybe a little exaggeration there, but you get the point.
For the past few months, I’ve been all wrapped up in the concept of being a writer (whether fiction or nonfiction) and have forgotten my identity.
I am not what I do.
It’s okay to not be a writer.
It’s okay not to be a pro surfer.
It’s okay not to be an Olympian.
It’s okay not to be perfect.
It’s okay not to try to shove myself in a mold that I do not fit in.
When I was three, I started gymnastics and I continued until age eleven. Eight and a half years, and that was my life. I dreamed of going to the Olympics, or getting a scholarship to some nice and fancy gymnastics college. I’d be flexible at fifty-three and stronger than anyone I knew.
But it never happened, and I know it never will.
When I quit, there wasn’t anything wrong with me. I was still me. Just because I wasn’t a gymnast anymore did not mean that I was any less of a person. I realized that it was okay to not be a gymnast anymore, because as much as gymnastics was a part of my life, gymnastics was not and could never be my identity.
Now, I’ve found the same thing with being a “writer.”
I haven’t stopped blogging, but currently, I’m not writing a novel.
For so long, I felt as if I had to prove to the world that I’m serious about who I am.
Prove that I am cool because I write books.
But you know what? I don’t write books. I write blog posts. And I’m happy with that.
It’s okay not to be a writer, but it is not okay to force myself into that one-size-fits-all mold.
This is my writing. Not books. But yet, writing isn’t my identity.
My identity is so much more important than a title. I could be a doctor, or a writer, or a teacher, or a lawyer, or an editor, or a mother.
But as much as those things could be part of me, who I am does not rest on that.
I am a child of God because He adopted me.
I am holy because He has made me holy.
I am precious and loved because He has chosen to love me.
I am forgiven because Jesus Christ died for me.
I have new life because He rose again for me.
None of these things are what I’ve made for myself, but who God has made me to be and given freely.
I say all of this to say: no matter who I choose to be, my identity will not rest on that. I might identify with some things, but it doesn’t matter what name I make for myself. Ultimately, the only name that will be important is “Child of God.” “Forgiven.” “Loved.”
It is very okay for me not to be a writer if I would have to get there by pushing and shoving and stabbing.
That is not okay.
No matter who I am, a writer or not, I will still be loved. I will still be Amanda. I will be just as valuable as if I had chosen a different life.
It’s okay not to be a writer, if that means that I get to follow God’s plan for me in another way. His way is the best way, and I accept that.
10 Replies to “It’s Okay Not To Be A Writer.”
Wonderfully said, Amanda!!
Thanks so much, Alyssa!
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Loving it! Writing is whaat I do sometimes, it’s not who I am 🙂
Very true! Thank you for your comment! 🙂
So, so true! I actually did a school assignment on this very subject; we had to make a paper-bag mask of things that defined us or represented us, and then write a reflection on it. My reflection basically talked about exactly the same thing as this post. As a perfectionist, this is something I struggle with remembering a lot.
Great post as always!
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That’s really a cool project. You sound a lot like me! 🙂 Thanks for your comment!
^ That right there is the sound of someone who’s been pricked right in the heart. Because this is something I’ve been working through lately. The “what if I’m not a writer (a fiction writer) anymore? What would that even look like, to not be?” And I’ve had to remind myself this month that it is not my identity. I am not lost and confused without a story to write. It is not who I am, and it’s okay to change.
I wrote a pretty long thing about this back on November 1. That was the day I realized that I’d unconsciously written that into the last story I ever felt right writing, last November. The one that’s still stuck with me for a whole year, and still means so much, even if I haven’t been able to finish it. I realized that at the heart of things, what I’ve been feeling about writing for the past year is the same as the heart of the story–with the main character who’s experiencing the same thing with singing, something she associates with her identity.
You know what, I think I’ll email the thing to you. But anyway, wrapping up this comment: Thank you. A thousand times. I’m still not sure what the future holds for me and writing, but in the meantime, I’m working on accepting that writing is not my identity–Christ is.
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I love to hear a story like yours that lets me know that I’m not the only one feeling this way. That for me, someone who loves the written word, would decide to put fiction writing to the side for a while, even though I desperately want to have the desire to follow through with an idea. But I guess what we’ve both realized is that our identity is so important–and if it’s placed in the wrong things, we are destined to crumble under pressure.
Thanks for your comment! I’m glad it resonated with you.