Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Hardest Thing About Being a Writer

“With great power, comes great responsibility.”  I love that quote. I’ve used it with my children, and I’ve often reminded myself of its words, as well.

When people ask me what I do, I usually say I’m a “stay at home” mom. I don’t often think of saying, “I’m a writer.” But I AM a writer. I may not get paid a six-figure income for the words I put out there, but I’m still a writer.

Sometimes being a writer isn’t as glamorous as some people think. I’m sure people imagine a life filled with writing whenever you feel like it and having loads of free time to do what you want. They probably think it’s an easy job. But I’ve learned it’s nowhere near that.

I’ve worked years and years to earn my reputation and standing. I’ve worked very hard to climb a ladder that seems to not move rung by rung, as I’d prefer, but inch by inch. It’s been hard work and perseverance, and I’m still not where I want to be.

I really don’t mind any of that, though. If something is a passion of yours, the process doesn’t really seem all that terrible. Not to me, anyways.  But I think the hardest thing about being a writer is the responsibility of shouldering people’s burdens.  When people read my thoughts, and my heart, they share things with me. They share secrets, deep hurts and pains, dreams, and depression. It’s hard. It’s not hard in the fact that I wish they wouldn’t share them with me. For I am so humbled that they would. It’s hard that I don’t always have the answers or the wisdom to share with them in return.

I love people. I love the diversity, character, and uniqueness of people. They fascinate me. I LOVE helping people. I love encouraging, motivating, impacting, and moving people’s hearts. It drives me and it fulfills me. So it’s really hard when I don’t have the right words to give someone. I don’t have that “thing” that they so need to hear and I so want to give them. That’s hard for me.

With every job, comes responsibility. With my job as a mom, comes the responsibility to teach my children, to nurture, instill values, protect, and love. With my job as a writer comes the responsibility to remember that my words are hitting a human soul and that they will push or pull them in one direction or another. My job is to push them towards hope.

That’s a great responsibility and one that I take very seriously – never lightly.

I will always treasure the gift of someone’s heart given to me.  I will value each dream, burden, and longing that is shared with me and I will do what I can to honor that trust.  For it is something very fragile.

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