Wednesday, September 17, 2014

An Audience of One

It's 1:15 a.m. and I am writing a blog. Really, I should be sleeping. I have a Biomedical Ethics class in the morning that requires quite a bit of concentration, and a long weekend ahead of me. But I just had to write.

I don't even know where to begin, except that I know that I need to start doing this again. It's been over a year since I've written on this blog, so for such a long time, whenever the desire to write has cropped up in me, I have told myself, "You're too fake. You can't just pick up writing again like you didn't stop and act like you're authentic." Well, that's fine, I can be a fake blogger. I don't want to write to gain a large readership or to make money from advertisements, or even to necessarily keep readers updated with the activities in my life. Rather, I just want to write for myself. I love writing. I use it to process my experiences and relationships, to work through ideas, concepts, lessons I'm learning. And it's just plain fun.

There is so much going on in my life that I wouldn't even know where to begin updating the reader who is just now tuning in, so I won't bother doing so in great detail, except to say that the girl I was when I started this blog three years ago is nowhere near the woman I have become today. Three years later, I'm finishing my senior year at ACU, majoring in the last major I ever thought I would have, serving and working in areas where I swore I would never participate, and marrying the guy I met the day before my freshman year of college, back when I was determined to stay single forever. None of my plans for the future have turned out the way I thought they would, and it's been more beautiful than I could have imagined.

But it's also been hard sometimes. It's been challenging and stressful and I've stretched in ways I would never have expected. As I wrote my freshman year, the biggest thing I've learned in college is just how much I need to learn and all the areas in which I have yet to grow.

Lately, things have been harder and more stressful than usual, as I'm getting closer and closer to entering "the real world," but I am learning and changing and growing faster than I can keep track of, so in some ways, I hope that writing out my thoughts will help me to keep track and digest all that I am learning. I do keep a prayer journal, but quite honestly, I can't write my thoughts as fast as I can type them. So at times, my writing is as much of a prayer as anything else.

I have also been inspired and convicted by reading a book that my Aunt Robin gave me for my 21st birthday this summer. It was written by her good friend, a woman named Kristin Welch, who I met briefly years ago but now yearn to know better after reading just a few chapters of her book, Rhinestone Jesus. The third chapter, which I had to stop reading in order to write this post, details how freeing and significant Kristin's entrance into the blogging world was.

Kristin also experienced what I also felt before opening up my laptop tonight. "I hadn't written a word in nearly eight years," she remembers (Welch 50). "That's a long time for a writer to be quiet. It's also hard to call yourself a writer when you don't write. But a dormant dream doesn't mean you're not a dreamer." It was Kristin's words a few sentences later that really spoke to me. "I felt like I'd come home. I was doing something that made me feel alive. I was unleashing a dream that I thought had died...I knew I was being called to authenticity. It was time to get real. It was time to write for myself to an audience of One" (Welch 50-51).

Granted, Kristin writes a blog for mothers (read one of her many popular posts here at http://wearethatfamily.com/), and I won't be a mom for a very long time. But there are so many other areas that I am learning about: engagement, marriage, love, faith, leadership, stress, honesty, failure, friendship, health, food, art, missions, reading, education, children, family, weddings, international studies, ministry, students, worship, beauty, ugliness, regret, freedom, forgiveness, and, above all, the God who made all of those things and more.

I can tell that it's been a long time since I've written anything besides emails, term papers, and reading responses. My writing is methodical, scientific, unnatural and rigid, nothing like what it used to be. But I have loved to write since I was six years old, when I wrote my very first story on a typewriter at my father's office. It was about a monkey named Bananas whose friends throw him a surprise birthday party.

I'm not writing about monkeys anymore. I'm not writing about my travels in Africa, or my freshman year of college, or snow, or conversations with bank employees. Although you are welcome to read what I write, I'm not writing to you. Although I hope that you can learn something from my successes and my mistakes and my experiences, I am not writing to teach you anything.

It's time for me to write for myself to an audience of One.


P.S.

(I have been a tutor at the university's Writing Center for the past two years, so I absolutely have to cite my sources in MLA format. I also acknowledge that it is very early in the morning and the copyright information is a little more complicated than expected. But don't use a citation machine, guys. Do it right.)

Welch, Kristin. Rhinestone Jesus. Carol Stream: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2014. Print.



1 comment:

  1. I look forward to reading what you have to say to the One. Love you!

    ReplyDelete