It's time for the apparently more or less annual reboot of my blog. A rather quaint and quiet corner of the internet most of the time.
Let me start by saying I've been journaling for years. I quite literally have a suitcase full of old journals, and I have no idea where I'm going to put them, since I sure as heck am not throwing away the memories inscribed in this random collection of assorted notebooks. Twelve years and counting.
But it was really only in the last year or two that I have started being challenged by others that writing is more than just something I do in my free time, just for the heck of it. Some dear friends who I trust and respect actually took the time to point out that writing is something that I'm actually good at, that it is one of my giftings.
On the advice of one of these friends, I took the School of Writing at YWAM Woodcrest (www.ywamresonate.com) last year. It was a wonderful, hard, stretching, amazing three months, and I am so thankful that I did it. I (hopefully!) learned a few things along the way, including what some of my strong and weak points are as a writer. I went into the school thinking I could never, ever write fiction. And here I am, chipping away gradually at a novel. I have no idea yet when it will see the light of day, but you have to start somewhere, right?
My main focus is teaching and doing other things with the School of the Bible, which I am firmly convinced is one of the best jobs in the world. But I've never really stopped writing, even if it was just journaling my thoughts at the end of the day. I started doing some other crazy things like reading blogs about writing better, and stumbled upon one by Jeff Goins (www.goinswriter.com), a missionary and writer who issued a rather direct challenge on his blog. "You are a writer, you just need to write."
Jeff issued a 15 day writer's challenge a few days ago, which I've decided to take up. Apparently several hundred other writers are doing the same thing. And that was the first part of the challenge-simply to acknowledge the fact that I am a writer. I am other things also, and do other things of course. But I am a writer-it is part of how I'm wired, and something that I will probably do in one form or another until the day I die, whether I ever make a dime off of it or not, whether I am ever acknowledged for it or forever remain anonymous.
It really has been an interesting challenge so far, and we're only 3 days in. The challenge today was to get up extra early and simply write. I honestly tried...but I'm not exactly coherent in the morning. Hence the reason why I am writing this at 9:30 p.m. The point is not the time of day or night though. The challenge is simply, as Jeff puts it, to show up. To put in the time to improve our craft as writers.
I'm not sure what else will be involved as this challenge progresses over the remainder of these two weeks, but I know I'm really enjoying it so far, even though it is extra work squeezed in around everyday life. Yes, writing is legitimate work, believe it or not. It has also been encouraging reading comments from other writers on Jeff's blog, seeing that I'm not alone in my thoughts and experiences here, and maybe picking up a few tips from other writers along the way as well.
All that to say, I am using this writer's challenge to officially reboot this blog. I'm sure the blog will continue to evolve as I grow as a writer, and hopefully a few people will be encouraged by what they read here. I'm a writer. It's time for me to write.