A writer and a teacher
I am a writer. I have written off and on since I was a teenager. But, I didn’t call myself a writer until last year. You see, I am a teacher too. I never thought of myself as a writer because writing is so much a part of the teaching profession. I looked at it as something I did because I was a teacher. I figured it was a skill I picked up along the way because all teachers write.
Until last year, that is how I thought about writing. I lumped it into the same category as public speaking. That is a skill you learn as a teacher too. Getting up and talking in front of a group of people is scary for most people; teachers do it every day. I have 20+ years of experience as an educator and have yet to die speaking in front of a group. It doesn’t scare me.
Last year, I started taking writing seriously. I discovered the idea of sharing my writing in public was daunting. It was as scary as public speaking is for most people. At first, I wrote only in a journal for myself. Then I shared with family members and a few friends. It was a vulnerable experience and terrifying.
The problem was fear
I knew that I had words to speak. I didn’t know if I wanted others to listen because it meant I could face rejection. And so I started a blog. I know it was a silly step if I didn’t want people to read my work. But, I was conflicted. I wanted people to read the blog and I was fearful that they would read it.
Yes, it was and still is scary. Yet, I have been down this road before. I chose fear. I used to play classical guitar. I took a semester of it in college as an elective. I learned a bit more on my own and enjoyed it. But I would never play in front of people. The fear of rejection paralyzed me. I was a beginner. No one would have expected perfection from my level of skill. I thought I had to have that to play for others. So I hid, used excuses and ultimately I stopped playing. I walked in fear. What if I had kept playing despite the fear? I took that class in the summer of 1981. I would have had 30+ years of experience. Would I have been a master or mediocre? I don’t know because I let fear rule me.
Yes, it is a regret. Yet, God can use regrets for good. I learned and am determined not to make the same choice again. I don’t want to hide behind fear with my writing. I debated even writing this post. You have no idea how scary this is. But I have learned, and am learning, that if things are out in the open, they have less power.
This is my line in the sand post. I have done it in my journal. Now, I choose to do it on the blog for all to see. I commit my writing to God. I will go where he directs. This is my version of Isaiah 6:8. “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here I am I. Send me!” I have no idea what this means, but I say yes to what God is asking of my writing.
And about that guitar, I still own it. I have the guitar that I used in that class many years ago. It is a beautiful guitar and its tonal qualities are amazing. Over the years, I have had people offer to buy it. I can’t sell it. The whole guitar thing has never felt finished. Perhaps its purpose in my life has been fulfilled. I failed at it but God used it to help me walk through the fear of sharing my writing. Or, maybe in time, I will rediscover the guitar. I might be both a writer and a musician. Only time will tell. If so, fear will not stop me this time.
What about you?
What about you? Is God asking you to do something that is scary? Join with me on this faith journey. Take that step of faith. I know that I will not be perfect with this; that is okay. I will probably be like a turtle and stick my head back into my shell of fear occasionally. But, I invite you to come back to the blog to witness my journey. My journey can give you hope. Will you walk with me into His immeasurable Grace and Love? Let me know what you think.