I am a writer.
My parents can attest to the fact that I loved to read before I even knew how. But once I learned, writing quickly followed. Becoming a published author has been a dream since childhood. I wrote and illustrated my first short story, “How a Dog Received His Spots,” in first or second grade. My first fictional, young adult chapter book was drafted a few years later. (It’s still awaiting completion.) Partially filled-up journals are stored away in my childhood home.
I’ve always loved to read and write.
But, for one reason or another, I’ve never considered myself a writer. Until now.
When I left my job in the fall, I was completely burnt out. Writing had been a major part of my role, and, at that point, I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to write again.
But I had a story to tell. I decided the best step was to take a break from writing. Although I had plenty to share, writing was the last thing I felt like doing. Time went by and, periodically, inspiration would strike. During those moments, words would pour out. I could never type as fast as the thoughts appeared. My Notes app was full of content. And there it would sit. Occasionally, I would transfer the content over to my blog where it would continue to sit as a draft. But I knew the content wasn’t supposed to sit in an app. I was meant to share it.
Slowly, I started to make time to write and my love for writing began to blossom. I began to share more. Every time I started to question myself, unknowingly, a friend or family member would reach out to me with an encouraging word. These felt like impeccably timed nudges from God that reminded me to keep going.
But I still wasn’t entirely sure what it meant. So, I did what always I try to do when I’m unsure of next steps, I prayed. In my prayer journal I wrote: “how to pursue writing” and asked God to guide me.
I began to acknowledge to myself as well as close family and friends that writing was something I wanted to pursue. Yet, I still didn’t know how. I wanted to become a writer, but I was clueless how to go about it. And I still had so many doubts.
Then I received a very specific answer: I found hope*writers. It is probably more accurate to say that hope*writers found me. An author I had recently followed posted about a writing conference taking place in the fall. I was immediately intrigued and began to research the conference. That’s when I learned the conference was hosted by the founders of an online community for writers, hope*writers.
Eager to learn more, I took the free writer quiz and subscribed to their emails. During the days and weeks that followed, every lie I had ever believed or told myself about writing was shattered. I could go into detail, but my main discovery was this: I wasn’t alone. Many many writers dealt with similar challenges. In uncovering that, I was free to accept something I had never believed to be true: I am a writer.
The hope*writer community was a direct answer to prayer. With membership only opened up a few times a year, I made the resolution to become a hope*writer before turning 30. I’m excited to share that membership was opened up last week and I am now thrilled to be part of the community.
For decades, I told myself the lie that I wasn’t a writer. Hope*writers helped me shatter that identity box. There is so much to learn from this community and I keep getting the sense that it is exactly where I belong.