And another thing…

To elaborate on that comment in the last post, that I feel like myself again now that I’m writing: I’d love to say that’s an exaggeration. Perhaps the proper thing to say is that writing just makes me happier but even without it I am happy. I mean, I have a whole heck of a lot of good things in this little life of mine. Between the family, the friends, the stable job, the work in the Church… am I being ungrateful to set such stock in writing? Maybe. I don’t know what kind of analysis should made. All I know is that I feel most alive, most engaged with life, when I am writing. Do I need more of a reason for this desire to write or for my efforts to get published or for my restlessness when I have to set aside the writing for other responsibilities?

The other night someone asked me what is most important to me about writing. It took me a few tries to really hit on what he wanted to know and it came down to this: God made me a writer. He knew all along I’d be a writer. When I began to write it was not a planned change for my entire life. It happened during a period when my plans were falling apart and I had no idea what I ought to be doing or could expect to be doing in the future. I was unhappy, to put it nicely, and in need of something to satiate the frustration. I can’t even identify the starting point for what became Full of Days, my first novel. I don’t remember exactly how the idea formed or how seriously I took it at first. By God’s grace and encouragement, I did not ignore the notion of writing that book. As I proceeded with the attempt (honestly, until it was more than halfway finished I only considered it an attempt to write a book without any particular expectations for it), my whole self became engrossed in the work. There was joy in the hours I dedicated to writing, while there continued to be disappointment in most of the other hours. In hindsight, I think it was by God’s great wisdom that the beginnings of my writing endeavors were in the context of all that frustration and disappointment. The roots were able to take hold and grow strong so that even when other things changed for the better and life brought new and good opportunities, the writing wasn’t forsaken. I had too thoroughly tasted and loved the experience of writing to deem it a temporary occupation now that I had other things to do. It stuck. The desire is not lessened; the satisfaction continues to sustain me; the determination and hope remain.

When I began writing, I couldn’t have known what would come of it or what else my life would include. Heck, I still don’t know what will come of any of it. As I write at present, I still wonder what else will enter my life – what jobs, what relationships, what experiences – but I don’t wonder if I will continue to write. I am me and I will be me, no matter the setting or circumstances. I am a writer.

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