A Writer

For someone who claims to be a writer, and even purports to coach others in writing, I don’t write a whole lot, neither in frequency nor in volume. Seems kind of silly, doesn’t it?

Can I say “I am a writer” because that is closest thing to a marketable skill I possess? For a long time, I said “I am a teacher” but that seems false now, even though I tutor. “Teacher” implies a career based on shaping impressionable minds and hopefully bringing out the best in one’s charges. If the definition hinges on “career,” that is no longer part of my “I am.” I can say that I am a sewist or a crafter but it doesn’t ring as true as “writer.” And so, I better start acting like one.

 I just finished reading Mile Markers, by Kristin Armstrong. Kristin Armstrong is a mother, a writer and a runner. I am one of those things and aspire to the other two. The book is made up of short bursts of inspirational missives in which Armstrong weaves together the common threads that course through running and life. Metaphors abound. In fact, the author refers to herself as “metaphor girl.” She does have quite a talent for it. One of the metaphors that resonated deeply was the section on resistance. In this section, Armstrong recounts a yoga session in which the instructor says that the inability to flow through to a difficult pose comes from an internal resistance based on fear or insecurity. Armstrong connects this idea to being afraid to push herself harder in other aspects of her life, like running or writing.

I have this internal resistance. It rears its ugly head everyday. I am running in place, trying to summon up courage to make the next move. I’ve been running in place so long, I’ve worn a divot into the floor beneath my feet. Part of my resistance comes from insecurity, and part of it is because I think I don’t know what I want. I am pretty sure I know what I want but it’s buried so deep that I can’t dig it out. I have a mental block that is preventing me from articulating my desire. I thought it was apathy but now I believe it is just resistance and I need to find the security to push through, to flow to the next, difficult pose.

4 thoughts on “A Writer”

  1. Hi Nancy, Just found a link here from the "what is your favorite post" question over on google+. You sure write like a writer. I really enjoyed this post.

    Have you ever heard of The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron? I actually got the book after hearing some friends talk about it. I'm now (blushing while I say it) call myself and artist rather than "one who crafts". It's a very hmmmmmmmmmmm enlightening book with some really good exercises. Doesn't matter what sort of "art" you do, it helps open up your creativity and fight some of that fear of showing ourselves to others.

  2. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
    Used by Nelson Mandela in his 1994 inaugural speech

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