I'm out of the practice of writing. I can barely squeeze this out in 5 minutes. But if I know one thing. To be a better writer, just write. Write. And write some more. Keep coming back. And that in itself is rewarding.
I had mostly thought of writing as a selfish thing. Not in a bad, fleshly way, but more as a habit that I do for myself and kept to myself. I wrote an online journal before I ever read another person's blog. It was still just for me. All that changed when blogs entered my life. I realized that reading others stories was encouraging and healing. Their vulnerability encouraged me to be vulnerable and bold in my own writing.
Last week, while visiting my sister and brother-in-law in Jamaica, I had the rare opportunity to start, and finish, a book. So very rare in this stage of my life. But I just devoured Anne Lammott's Bird by Bird. She is hilarious, sarcastic, and so insightful into what it is to reap the rewards as a writer. One chapter specifically, put a totally new spin on my perspective of writing.
She said, writing is a gift.
She told the story of how she kept record in words of the journey of her father's illness. A book that he was able to read prior to his death. She was able to do the same for a friend suffering through cancer. A published book of their life together honoring her friendship and journey. She, too, was able to read prior to her death.
I don't know why I never realized it before. That my words, my stories and memories, could possibly be the most precious gift to my loved ones.
For me to record my journey as a mother, as a wife, as a follower of Christ. To remember and honor God's goodness throughout my life and pass it along to my family, my kids, and anyone else whose life I may have the blessing of touching. This is a gift that never fades, goes out of style, or is irrelevant. What an inspiration!
I am beginning to see this as one of the greatest gifts I could ever give my kids. And that is motivating.