26 February 2014

Writing Exercises: Declare

I am a writer.

This is not a shocking statement to find on a blog, but it's one that I have been reticent to make. It's not, at this point, my job to write. At this point, my job is where I spend 40+ hrs/week and get a paycheck, and that involves little writing. What writing I do in my job is either email content or policy/procedure documentation or clarification.

The thing about that is even though it is not my job to write, I take the writing I do for my job very seriously. I edit for grammar, punctuation, spelling, and content. I read and edit for fluidity, and with an intent to make things as easily comprehensible as possible. I write policy like a writer, and I read it with a critical reader's eye. So even in my job, where I don't get paid to write, I'm still a writer.

I have two blogs, to which I seldom post. That sentence is one of the main reasons for my reticence about calling myself a writer. Because I don't post often, much less every day. I post what I want to post, when I want to post it, and I don't have a substantial following, if any. Oh, I often INTEND to post, but I rarely follow through on that intention. I am not disciplined in my writing, and that frustrates me, even though I have the tools and ability to change that.

It's like being fat. Everyone knows that to cease (or keep from) being fat you have to eat properly and exercise, finding the right balance of both for your individual body. Discipline is self-driven when it comes to the things we want for ourselves. In adult life, few things are disciplined by external forces, and for me, both my weight and my writing are where they are because of a lack of self-discipline.

Yet, I still say, I am a writer. I have written the entire first draft of my first novel and have started on my second novel. I have multiple thoughts about the rewrite that is coming to the first book, but again, the lack of discipline in this area is what keeps that from materializing. My parents, both great readers, have both enthused about my book, but I tend to chalk their opinions up to parental pride, rather than actual excellence in my writing. I do a disservice to both them and me, though, when I do that. My book is good. It's not as good as it will be, but it's a good start.

There are a thousand and three things (at least) that I should be doing right now, as my housekeeping (or lack thereof) will attest, but I sit here, completing a writing exercise. Because it's important to me. Because it's important to ME. I want to be a disciplined writer. I want my writing to outlive me. I want to reach people through the words that God has given me. I want my words to pour out of my heart which is filled with praise for the Creator who fashioned me to bear His image, so that others will see Him and know Him, and to do that, I must write. I must write whether or not it's convenient, because I need to develop the discipline.

I am a writer.


{This writing exercise is the first from "15 Habits of Great Writers," which I came across on Pinterest.}

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