Tuesday, January 26, 2010

So...this is it

I've been dabbling. You know, just sticking your toes in the water to test the temperature but never fully jumping in. I've been reading (some might say stalking) others' blogs like crazy, have thought about how to take my next step in life a whole lot, have talked to my hubby about it, have read books, have pretty much done everything but actually jumping in.

Because dabbling is comfortable; there's not much risk in dabbling. Once you jump in though, you're in.

Here's the thing: I'm not a writer. At least, up until this point in my life I haven't been. I have been a teacher (high school social studies which I loved, more on that in a later post), I have been a wife (an Army Wife at that, which ingrains a deep strength in you that I wasn't quite sure I possessed until I learned it was, in fact, there), a sister, a friend, a reader... the list goes on but it certainly didn't include writer.

But by a series of... accidents... happenings... events... I still don't quite know which, I have become a writer. And I love it. It feeds my soul. It speaks to my heart. I find myself standing in the checkout line at the grocery store twisting words around in my head to see which fit best together. I am now one of those people who must sleep with a pen and a piece of paper by my bed to write down last-minute thoughts before falling asleep. How did that happen?

Last fall, when my husband was still in Afghanistan, I needed to process what our previous four years meant to us, our marriage, our faith, our lives, everything. I believe in the power of words and the strength there is in getting them out- whether in conversation or on paper. So I began writing. And writing. And writing. And by the time I finished writing down our story (originally intended to be simply a really long journal entry) I looked down and had 50,000 words. Hmmm. So I then began to chat with people I trusted about what to do with this thing I had created and the word 'book' became a part of my regular vocabulary. It still only exists as a document on my computer, but I have hopes that it won't end there. I'm on the journey to (hopefully!!!) getting published and I'm trying to appreciate it while I'm here.

Recently, I got in touch with a woman I greatly admire about this 'book' of mine because she runs a website for military wives called CincHouse.com and I needed some advice. She gave me the opportunity to write articles for her a couple of times a month and my first contribution was published on her site recently. So, now it's official. I am a writer.

I was asking (freaking out to...) my husband yesterday when I first saw it on the website- "What?!? This means that people are going to... actually...read....my...words!"

In his loving and patient way he said "Well yes, hon. Isn't that what you want?"

I suppose so. But that is such a vulnerable thing. Ayiyi. But, if this is something I really do want to pursue, I need to get used to that. I need to put myself out there. Give voice to my words and experiences and believe that they will be used in others lives. Let my words be used as a compass in their lives in hopes that it will help them navigate the journeys that they are on.

Which is why I'm not dabbling anymore. It's not worth it and that's a part of what this blog is for. I'm jumping in.

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