I am not a professional writer. Although I will claim some expertise in expressing myself, some ease and familiarity with words and their patterns, and certainly a rudimentary knowledge of grammar and its rules, that doesn’t elevate me to the status of professional.
I have been a professional in business. I have been a professional parent. In each of those instances they were full-time jobs. My responsibilities were top priority and my time and attention were directed to the success of those ventures. I kept myself educated to the necessities for the sake of service to my clients and/or to my family,and threw myself wholeheartedly into whatever task was at hand. I understand professionalism.
And I’m not exactly a dilettante either.
Writing has always been a part of my life. I was praised for my horrid poetry as a child. I always aspired to be a “writer” and lacking imagination consigned aims toward non-fiction. As a freelancer I received the obligatory hundreds of rejections and had the satisfaction of reading my articles in print. In those days I longed to be a professional writer with what I imagined to be the attendant fame and fortune. Now I realize that the financial rewards of being a professional are unimportant to me and being known for who I am to those I care about is much more valuable to me than the recognition of many.
I have also written because at the time it was my mission to write. Writing this blog seemed a very important part of my day. I still love the concept of telling those I love how much they mean to me. I know that leaving a history of feelings and insights is as important as creating a family tree or building a valuable inheritance for my descendants. And offering words and ideas to those who have trouble doing it on their own feels good. It’s a contribution that I can make freely.
Now I find myself further along this continuum with some recognizable signs.
I’ve always been better at following my inspirations than in writing on demand. (Another reason that I am not a professional.) Feeling a obligation to my blog – writing every day, or every week, or regularly is not enough impetus to glue me to my computer. I am finding it easier to remind myself that my blog is just that – mine. I am not obligated to write. And I know that those of you who have faithfully followed me through the years don’t really notice if I miss a week or two. And those of you who are looking for an idea or letter can find what they need or ask me for more.
So I am free to write or not to write.
And early in my writing years I learned what has been scientifically proven…if I share my ideas aloud, I have much less chance of writing them. I have given up protecting those ideas. Many times it is more fulfilling to have a conversation with those I love rather than to write a letter for posterity. After all, who cares about posterity or can guarantee its result?
I know that there will be times when I want to write to you, my family and friends. I will want to express my recognition of who you are to me in words that are deliberate and well-thought out. I’ll have ideas that sprout from my sleep and live through my meditation to be expanded on the page. And I will get on my high horse and ride my rants without anyone being able to stop me. I will always write – on this blog or another.
But I hereby release myself. to write when I feel inspired, to continue to write when I have time or inclination, and to give up all pretense of professionalism.
It feels good!