How to Know if You’re A Writer

Does the idea of being a writer both excite and terrify you?

Do you relish well written words and search for stirring stories? Do live in your head for all or part of the day? Do you long to share your ideas with the world? Do you make excuses as to why you are not a writer? Do you wonder if you are a writer? Do you wonder if it matters if you write because so and so is already doing what you long to do… Do you compare yourself to other writers and give up because they are further ahead of you in the writing process?

If you are asking any of these questions: you are a writer.

Do you want to know the secret between wondering if you are a writer and being a writer?

The secret is this: you are the only person standing in the way of your journey as a writer. {TWEET THIS}

I’m sure you’ve heard this before and probably read other blog posts about it. I know I have. I’m not sure when you’re moment of realizing you are a writer will come, but mine came a few months ago.

A simple epiphany: I had a choice between continuing to question whether I was a writer and comparing myself to those more successful than me, or I could be thankful and do the work.

It really is that simple.

A) We can stay stuck in the swirling self doubt, comparison and fear questions that will delay our awakening as a writer indefinitely. People do this every day. Thousands of people want to write or publish a book someday. Most never will. It’s the heartbreaking reality.

B) Accept “I am a writer” and move forward. There is nothing tidy about this. There is no formula or cookie cutter. While we still fear failure, we realize that:

“If you don’t start, you do fail.” — Dan Miller

The questions and self-doubt never vanish completely, but we choose whether or not we give them the authority to run our lives and decisions. The tool that made the greatest difference for me: thankfulness.

I stopped wondering whether I was a writer and instead began thanking God for making me a writer and it has set me free as a writer. [TWEET THAT}

This simple practice set me free because it removed the pressure for me to perform and get it perfect. I’m a vessel; His vessel.

Although I’ve been a Christian for years, it was difficult for me to invite God into my writing because of all my fears and insecurities. By thanking God for making me a writer, I am both receiving the passion He hardwired inside of me as well as surrendering the process and outcome of my writing.

Thankfulness has opened me to viewing inspiration, ideas and opportunities as gifts.

It’s not all on me.

I don’t have to get it right every time.

I can joyfully create, put myself out there, fail, start again, succeed and continue creating… He’s with me.

Today when I sit down to write, I begin with a simple prayer of gratitude.

The idea for this was inspired by Steven Pressfield’s book The War of Art in which he shared his practice of reading Homer’s Invocation of the Muse before each writing session.

My Writing Prayer

Lord
Thank you for making me a writer and giving me the opportunity to capture and share ideas.
You spoke the world into being and created me.. You are the Creator and Author of all things.
Creativity is a gift from you.
May my creativity knit me even closer to you.
Thank you for the thoughts, inspiration and tools you have given me. Help me use them for your glory.
May my words encourage, equip and bring light to those who read them.
I do not know how to (insert project, task etc.)… and I ask for your guidance.
My time, life and writing are yours.
Thank you for providing resources for me to grow and learn. I am yours and I trust you.
I give this time, my talent and the outcome to you.
In Jesus’ Name
Amen

Then I begin the work (more on that later).

If this post has been an encouragement to you, please feel free to share it.

Thank you for journeying with me.

Deanne


Originally published at deannewelsh.com on May 25, 2016.