Stretched to the Shape of A Writer
I have a confession to make.
I love to read.
That’s probably no surprise, if you know me.
But here’s the thing.
I read about running…instead of running.
I read about eating healthy…instead of eating healthy.
I read about praying…instead of praying.
I read about writing…instead of writing.
Anybody with me here?
Ever read about how to paint with watercolors instead of actually painting watercolors? Read about forgiving instead of actually forgiving?
Read about traveling instead of actually traveling? Read about building a deck or planting a garden instead of actually building the deck and planting the garden?
Read about simplifying instead of actually simplifying? Read about exercising instead of actually exercising???
I read about a subject…then, all too often, it stops right there.
On Being a Writer, Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig’s new book, changed that.
You notice that the title of the book is On BEING a Writer, not On DREAMING about Being a Writer. Not On IMAGINING Being a Writer. Not On THINKING about Being a Writer.
The title is On BEING a Writer.
In 2013, Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig taught an online writing class. Thankfully, I was one of the students. What started as a writing class became a writing community.
Over twelve weeks, we journeyed from being strangers to being friends. We moved from reading about one another to caring about one another. It was rare. It was lovely. It was about being fully present to one another as we journeyed together into the writing life.
Some of us had long been writers. On the other hand, some of us were even reluctant to admit that we were writers. Some of us were burned out in our writing life.
Words were oxygenless, smothered and flat. Some of us were newly-arrived at this writing life. Raw and scared but willing to wonder.
As we wrote our way through that online course, which became this marvelously succinct book, On Being a Writer, all of us moved past thinking about a writing life to living a life of writing.
This book, based off of that class, centers around twelve premises, all of which remind me how to BE a writer. The hows and whys of the writing life are examined but it doesn’t stop there. Along the way, I read, ponder my identity as a writer, and then actually write, as if I am a real writer. I arrange my days to accommodate my writing life.
On Being a Writer stretches the shape of my writing, just as it stretches me to be a writer. (This even after I’d been writing more than 90% of my life. This even after I’d coauthored and published a nonfiction book.) I need the encouraging of this book.
It stirs up the memory of the gifts I have and challenges me to be full of the guts and grit to step into them. It launches me afresh into being a writer. It’s encouraged me to arrange my life is such a way that what I read becomes how I am being.
I think that’s a good start which will surely embolden me to do likewise in other arenas. Who knows, maybe I’ll actually plant a garden one of these days.
So, I have a confession to make.
I am a writer. I read about writing…and then, I write.
What about you?