Today’s post comes to you from my super awesome friend Alise Wright, aka @bigmama247. She is compiling a book of essays on depression. She is a musician, a fun mom and a wife. She is also a writer. Say hi to Alise. This week will also feature another guest writer, Shawn Smucker. We are writing about identity. In the coming weeks, I’ll feature another writer who will tackle this topic.
I think I’d like to call myself a writer.
At first this seems pretty easy. I write a blog almost every day, so I put my thoughts out there in word form regularly. I have a book based on an idea that I created being compiled and my story will be a part of that. I have written posts for blogs by actual published authors and they didn’t send me a reply filled with maniacal laughter when I submitted my stories.
So why do I shy away from that title?
I think that for me, a lot of it comes down to being willing to risk giving myself a title that maybe others wouldn’t think is okay.
What if I call myself a writer and someone says that my definition isn’t good enough? What if I call myself a writer and people are just laughing at me behind my back? What I call myself a writer to a REAL writer and they get mad that I’m using the same title to describe myself that they use?
Of course, my rational self knows that none of this is likely happening.
But this fear extends so much further than this.
There are all kinds of titles that I want to use, but am afraid to in case I don’t meet the expectations of others. None more than the title of Christian.
I don’t fit very easily into the typical evangelical mold. I like a nice glass of wine just for fun in the evening. I laugh at (and sometimes quote from) South Park. I’m gay affirming. I question the traditional doctrine of hell. I even vote Democrat.
So when I call myself a Christian, I worry that all of the REAL Christians are standing to the side, shaking their heads, wondering how on earth I can use that word to describe what I believe.
But in the same way that my professional writing friends are probably not scoffing at me calling myself a writer, my Christian friends know that the identity that we share in Christ is far more important than the areas where we differ. So I’m going to go ahead and keep calling myself a Christian.
And maybe soon I’ll get up the courage to call myself a writer.