I saw a quote on Pinterest the other day from Lord Byron. It said, "If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad."
That feels true for me. Especially on the days where I want to just sit in front of my computer screen and type whatever it is that comes to mind. To release something, to get something out, to empty myself. And also, to create and do something that feels natural to me. To do something that maybe I was created to do.
A friend, whose writing I have deep respect and admiration for, left me a comment a couple of weeks ago that said, "You are a writer Jenn. I know it when I see it. Own it." Those words caused an earthquake in my soul and left me overflowing with hope.
So maybe that's what I've been doing. Trying to "own it."
Writing has felt more familiar and easy to me as of late. I have found that in my spare time, I've used more of it to just sit down and write than anything else. I started carrying a journal around with me to jot down thoughts or memories that come to mind. Or some blurb that just comes to me in the middle of the day that I want to remember. It feels somewhat silly to be sitting in the middle of a restaurant or the parking lot of a grocery store just to pause and write something down, but it also feels like a starting point. Because right now I don't know what I want to write, just that simply, I want to.
Grabbing coffee with a friend last weekend, I also heard about a "writer's forum" that meets at a non-Starbucksy coffee house on Monday nights. My friend said to me, "You're a writer. You should go to this." She said it fluidly. As if to say, "You're a mom," or "You're a bookkeeper." It was so matter-of-fact. My friend thinks I'm a writer. It felt weird and right at the same time.
The bookmark I snagged for the writer's forum is still in my wallet. And though my current excuse for not attending is that I have Journey Groups on Monday nights, I'm also glad that I have something else occupying my time that night until May, in hopes that I can work up the guts to go and sit with other writers. What they do there - I don't know. I just know it sounds like something I want to be a part of.
And I'm already wondering if I'll stand out or if I belong in that setting because, what makes me a writer? Should I even go? And then I hear the words, "Own it" in my head again, and I know that I probably do belong there and I probably should go.
Days like today though, I feel like Lord Byron's quote. If I don't write to empty my mind, I might go mad. Writing helps me bring order to the chaos of the things I try to contain inside of myself. It grounds me. It's a healthy outlet - like working out is for the physical body.
So here I am. Writing about writing. And maybe in doing so, I'm owning it just a little bit more.