There seems to be a taboo secret in the world of writing. We talk about it some, but not nearly enough. The words are whispered in the hushed halls of cyberspace, jotted privately in pretty journals, and texted in solitude to those who won’t judge.
What is the secret?
Shhhh. I can only tell you if you promise not to tell…
Writers are people, too.
That’s right. We’re living, breathing, pajama-wearing, chocolate-eating, coffee-drinking kinds of people who love our characters, craft, and life in the “odd lane.” We rarely keep “normal” hours. We think beyond the tangible. Sometimes, we’re perceived as weird, irrational, or difficult to understand. We think pencils are cool and fonts are king. We revel in silence, but glory in life.
Words amuse, stories excite, and imagery beckons. We see rainbows in the ordinary and we hope for the best. We understand there is more than meets the eye. We’re dramatic, creative, and vocal. We look forward to sharing.
Sometimes, we’re transparent.
We’re fallible and fallen.
Often, we’re afraid.
Of what? you might ask.
Well, of a lot of things. Public perception. Scaring folks away. Falling off the pedestal. Whether our real me is what folks want to see.
I have to admit, I struggled with this more when I was younger. (Not to say that reservations don’t still hack away at my self-confidence occasionally.) Perhaps, it’s a maturity thing, much like an adolescent’s transition to puberty, but I’ve come to accept the fact every one of us has “stuff.” There’s just no getting around that.
We have families to care for, crises that arise, fences to mend, meals to cook, and toilets to clean. In other words, life continues to happen.
It’s just how the pig eats the cabbage, so to speak.
As writers, I believe we should use sound judgment in what we share and how and when we share it. In other words, discretion depends upon the circumstance and the motive behind it.
Will what we say or do hurt, harm, or have a negative influence? Will it amuse, entertain, or add a smile to someone’s day? Will it encourage? Motivate? Inspire change?
Who we are doesn’t have to be a balancing act.
Who we are should be effortless–a seamless blending of tide to sand. If we live a life to please others and quench the essence of who we are, our breaths become like measured grains in the hourglass. Eventually, we grow weary under the weight of expectation. It’s unpredictable, unattractive, and tragic.
Here’s my (not-so-perfect) method of remaining grounded:
- Truth (with tact). If I’m having an off-day, you’re generally going to know it. I may not pitch a temper tantrum (that’s just not my way), but I’ll be direct with as much love as I can muster. It’s not necessary that I air every detail, though I may ask you to pray.
- Encourage others. I’ve walked the valley. In fact, I’ve hobbled, crawled, and wallowed my way through it. Because of this, I want to minister to others who are hurting. I want to uplift and come alongside. Writing is my career, but serving people is my ministry.
- Focus on the immediate. Long-term goals are important and I have tons of them, but this moment is what I have now. And it’s the “now moments” that can influence lifetimes.
- Indulge in the silly. I love to laugh. At myself, with you, or even at the goofy guy brushing his teeth at the stoplight. Humor is a balm to the soul. It transitions me to a lighter state of being and I just love that feeling.
- Eyes on Christ. For me, it all begins and ends with Jesus. This writing thing is a hard gig. Without a personal relationship with my Savior, I couldn’t do it. Knowing there’s something beyond my day-to-day writing life puts the cache of words in much-needed perspective.
How do you balance life?
Do you tend to overshare? Undershare?
Who we are should be effortless–a seamless blending of tide to sand. (Click to Tweet)
The biggest secret in the writing world may not be what you think. (Click to Tweet)
Photo Credit: Stuck in Customs/Creative Commons