When it comes right down to it, I feel uncomfortable with calling myself a “writer”. I had always imagined writers as people who hunch over their typewriters (now computers), writing over 1,000 words a day without fail. Write an epic novel in half a year? No problem! But while writing is something that comes fairly naturally to me, the routine of it seems to elude me. Getting into a daily (or weekly) habit happens to be just beyond my grasp, and when I do happen to, for a moment, just touch it, my attention is diverted and I’m pulled back to where I began.
When I don’t write for a while, I feel—for lack of a better term—emotionally constipated. Writing, whether privately or publicly, is my way to process things and to self-reflect. As an introvert, I desperately need this time. The daily habit isn’t necessary for me to clear my head; writing a good poem or a blog post can free my head space up for a good week.
I’m reminded that I feel the same way about reading my Bible. Reading is wonderful, it’s an escape from reality and transports me into another world. But the Bible is real and historical, which is not the type of book I naturally gravitate towards, and so I don’t read it every day (the fact that I read the entire thing is definitely something God-inspired.) But, I need to read it at least regularly. Otherwise, I don’t have the spiritual nutrition I need to keep going throughout the week, and I even feel physically weaker without it.
But if you ask me, I don’t think that the daily process is the important part. I really, really don’t. Writing a post every day doesn’t make me a writer no more than reading the Bible daily makes me a Christian. Not really. What makes someone a writer is what they depend on to define their character. Do they lean into their writing when no one is watching, or avoid it altogether? Do they consider the different writing styles when they read novels? Is there an interest in honing their craft?
The same goes for someone who reads their Bible. Do they read to recharge, or to cross off a daily-reading list? Do they implement what they learn from the Bible into their daily lives? Is there a connection with Jesus?
In other words, what we need to ask ourselves is: if you take it—whatever the thing is you’re evaluating—away, will your character be the same? I wouldn’t be me without writing, and I wouldn’t be me without Jesus. Both of these things are integral to my character.
So this begs the question—what things are integral to your character?