Last night I was catching up on reading some blogs, and I stumbled across this post by my friend Tara. Tears streamed down my face as a read her memories of the day 5 years ago when an earthquake shook Haiti and claimed the life of her friend.
Now, I don’t know these people – I haven’t even met Tara face-to-face – but the emotion is so clearly conveyed through her words, that I feel her loss and sadness. The emotions transfer through the words like electricty.
Over the past year I have started blogging regularly, and with the intention of growing my blog. I have loved writing since I was little kid. I remember when I was about five years old my mom took my sister to a local store to pick out a toy. My sister picked a stuffed mouse with a red nose. I picked a Fisher-Price typewriter. I remember sitting in front of that typewriter for hours pretending that I was penning the next great American novel. As I grew older I filled notebooks with poems, short stories, and doodles.
I was accepted as an English major at a state college, but life happened and I ended up going to beauty school instead. 17 years later I am still behind a salon chair, but writing has resurfaced as a major component in my life. I decided to seriously prusue blogging, and at the very least write on a regular basis. Then I became a freelance contributer for a major news website and for the first time in my life I was getting paid to write! in hindsight, I wasn’t getting paid enough, but I made enough money to buy myself a Kitchenaid mixer and a new camera lens, and I was hooked.
Funny thing about being a writer is that it doesn’t really matter how educated you are, or even how intelligent you are. If you have a story to tell, there is someone who wants to hear it.
There is a peculiar and gift that God has given people who are writers. Anyone can write, from the shyest introvert to the life of the party – but not everyone can communicate in a way that makes you feel what they feel. Not everyone can take and a piece of paper, or even pixels on a computer screen and make you physically feel something in your heart. And that is the magic of the gift that transcends millenniums and technology. The written word is the medium that God chose to convey his message to the world, and those words are just as relevant today as they were when they were penned 2,000 years ago.
Over the past year that I have been seriously blogging I’ve had some incredible highs and some serious lows. I haven’t hit it big, I haven’t had 1 million views on my blog, I haven’t even published my first book (But stay tuned, because I’m darn close). But I have received several comments messages and emails from people who took the time to thank me, and share with me how my words had touched them. One woman had filed divorce papers, but when she read my words about marriage she ripped them up. Some people have simply been encouraged to get rid of a bunch of unnecessary junk they have been cluttering their lives with. These are people I have never met. I’m just a regular person, from a small town in the Midwest. I have no education beyond beauty school. But God has used what I have written to touch people and change their lives!
What an incredible gift and platform we have been given as writers. Its so easy to get caught up in numbers and stats, but how does one measure the change we can create in the world just by publishing our words?
If you are a fellow writer or blogger, thank you. I have no doubt laughed, cried, or even been irritated by your words. And for those who are simply readers, I encourage you to give some feedback on some of your favorite blogs and books. Sometimes it can feel like I am just talking to my computer screen, but sometimes I am truly blown away when I am reminded what a gift it is to be a writer.