Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Are You Telling Yourself Lies?

My husband is taking his college finals this week. He gets up early and spreads his books over the coffee table. Last night, he showed me some of his recent grades he’d received on homework assignments. I could tell how proud he was of them from the tone of his voice.

It isn’t easy going back to school at his age. It isn’t easy learning to be confident at a new skill. It isn’t easy trusting that you’ll learn new information and have it make sense.

But then again, when was it ever easy?

I remember studying long hours over biology and earth science and oh yeah, history. I won’t even go there with math. I was pretty happy when I could take a Psychology course that came easy to me.

It’s the same with learning the craft of writing.

My SIL told me on Saturday that I have a talent for writing and how she could never do it.

I beg to differ.

Most of what I write and how I write, I’ve had to study and learn.

What the difference is between my SIL and myself, is our desire.

My husband has a strong desire to learn a new career. Out of necessity. Out of curiosity. Out of passion.

And he'll learn it.

Will you?

Have you ever deceived yourself into believing the lie that you can’t be a writer?

39 comments:

Tamika: said...

I almost did a few weeks ago, but I know God has called me to it so I must do it for the sake of the Kingdom.

Writing is the only area in my life aside from my family where I have felt driven. It's a surreal joy.

Warren Baldwin said...

Yes.

Writing and speaking may come easier to some than to others, but the basic gift must still be developed, and that takes years of hardwork.

Good post to keep us focused on growth through work.

Billy Coffey said...

I think the lie I fell for was the one that said I couldn't really call myself a writer until _____, whether it was until I got an agent or got a publisher or whatever. But I've learned that calling yourself a writer can't depend on any outward circumstances, it's a choice you have to make for yourself. And I learned that until you make that choice, it's really hard to get anywhere.

Deborah said...

Yes, I used to feel uncomfortable claiming to be a song writer, but I am, and unless I believe that myself, why should anyone else?

Your post also took me in a different direction. I'm a foster mom....so often I have people say, "Oh, I could never do what you do." These are very capable parents, so it's not that they CAN'T, it's exactly what you said...
"What the difference is between (them) and myself, is our desire."
God has given me the desire to care for these children...just as he has given me the desire to write for him. Then he expects me to do the work!

Susan R. Mills said...

I also had to learn the craft of writing. Between on-line workshops, books on the craft, and lots and lots of practice, my writing is completely different than what it was when I first started out. It's a good thing. I agree. Anyone can learn to be a writer. It's the desire that sets us apart.

Melissa Marsh said...

I've only said that to myself when referring to being a PUBLISHED writer. I think I've always known, from a very early age (6th grade), that I was going to be a writer. Published novelist or not, a writer I will be!

Alleluiabelle said...

Love your heart and your words my friend. Stopped in to say hello and that I love you. Your lives are full as always...I like your new look here. I've missed stopping in and wanted to let you know that you are always in my heart and prayers.

Hugs,
Alleluiabelle

Diane said...

I just did a post similar to this with what others tell you or what we tell ourselves. God's opinion is the highest one for what I can and can't do. Tell your husband good luck for me! :O)

www.dianeestrella.com

Nancy said...

Yes, I tell myself that I can't be a fiction writer anymore. The truth is, I could be, but I don't know if I have the time to do it justice right now. We shall see.

LauraLee Shaw said...

Hard work indeed, sister. I've been thinking about going back to college online, and oh boy, I know it will be hard for me if I do!

Great post to ponder!
LauraLee

Kristen Painter said...

Being a writer is easy. Being a published writer is another story...but no, no lies.

Heckety said...

Absolutely yes-I have put the writing away. I have nothing interesting to say and I haven't lived enough, and although I may have good grammar there's a ******* lot more to the writing lark than turning on your laptop and going tap-tap-tap!
That's why I read you, and Susan Mills and some other writing blogs, because I admire you wholeheartedly and I hope in small way to encourage you because I cannot do what you do. Instead I quilt!!

Heidi Willis said...

Maybe not that I CAN'T be a good writer, but that I don't have what it takes to be a good writer: time, determination, perseverance, unique talent, creativity, discipline, patience....

On the other hand, I have told myself I can't be a physicist. I think my class in college was proof of that. :)

Carmen said...

Excellent post, Terri! Like the new look too!

Trudy said...

I haven't even started trying to be a writer so I'm still believing the lie that I never will be because I can't find the time!

Paula said...

I often convince myself that I can't be a GOOD writer. But I enjoy writing and absolutely express myself better through writing than talking. :o)

You are right. Good writing takes work and time and dedication.

I do hope to get there someday. Until then, I write anyway.

:o)

Karen Lange said...

I have my moments, but know I'm called to write, so that keeps me going. I agree, it takes work and perseverance to be a writer.

Sassy Granny ... said...

I don't know about writing, but I know I've had to learn to: "doubt my doubts, and believe my beliefs." When a lie shows up I can often spot it first in my spirit; something's just not right. Eventually I ferret out that thing that attempts to defeat me, be it writing, or whatever.

Great thoughts, Terri.

Blessings,
Kathleen

Lynn said...

Yes, many times I have believed I cannot be a writer. I'm taking two university courses a year in the professional writing program I am enrolled in, and I think cannot claim to be a writer until I finish, or until I am published, or until I quit my money-making profession of 25 years, or until... The list is forever. I do say I am "a student of writing." But I'm thinking it's time to change that and say "I'm a writer." Woohoo!! Great words and I really like the new look.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

You've given me a lot to think about.

The learning curve is frought with potholes, threatening to swallow our confidence. Whether you're learning the craft of writing or some other skill, there are times when you have to press through the discouragement.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Lin Floyd said...

I doubt my abilities now and then but some opportunity or award will come and then I'm reassured. I love to write.

Diane Marie Shaw said...

You must be proud of your husband. Going back to school is tough. Glad he has your support.
Do I believe the lie that I can't be a writer? Sometimes I do, when I haven't been doing any writing. It is so easy to do anything but write. Ugh.

Carla Gade said...

Those doubts tend to creep in every now and then, but I try to hold on to the truth that I am a writer and it's up to the Lord what he decides to do with it if I remain dedicated to the task.

Nicole said...

I think it's great for any adult to go back to school. When I received my AA degree at the age of 35 I was so happy! I still need to get the bachelor's but financial aid is a terrible beast right now. Keep up the good work and I hope that he excels on his finals!

Georgiana said...

Yes! I've battled the doubt many, many times. You're right, though, the whole thing is a learning process and it comes down to desire. Getting the story in your head/heart onto the page in readable form is not easy.

Amy Tate said...

I love reading about your hubby's journey. Sometimes I get so tired. This school thing is a constant drag. But I know it will be worth it in the end. Six classes to go - I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

Amy Tate said...

BTW, I love YOUR new look! Nice header!

patti said...

Um, quite often.

Nice new look!
Patti

Jill Kemerer said...

I agree Terri, I've spent so many hours, weeks, months, years of learning to write and I'm still only scratching the surface. But I WANT to. That's the key!

T. Anne said...

Only every other day. LOL! Today's a good day though. And you are right, all good things can be learned.

sarah said...

wow. nice new site...and congrats to your husband. I'm taking a writing course and loving it. It's shown me how much I have to learn about the craft...staying in one POV...charting a skeleton of the story and so much. It excites me...Hope the work environment for you is going well.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Absolutely.

I think it's awesome your hubby is going back to school. Nothing great is ever easy. :)

PS. Love your new look!

Kathryn Magendie said...

Terri - You are a winner of a signed copy of Secret Graces from the drawing on the promo contest ideas!

I'll be posting it later today probably....

KelliGirl said...

I don't know if I've doubted my ability to be a writer, however there are certain genres I'm convinced I will never be able to write. Although maybe it's a matter of desire more than ability.

But there are DEFINITELY areas in my life where I doubt I can do certain things and I believe the lies of the enemy. Thankfully I've learned to listen for (although I don't always hear) the voice of Truth.

Blessings to you my friend,
Kelli

Natalie said...

That has got to be my #1 pet peeve phrase that people use all the time. I totally agree. Anyone can write a book. (Have you read The Diving Bell and the Butterfly? The author wrote the entire thing by blinking his eye to communicate the text letter by letter. If he can write the rest of us have no excuse.) If a person would love to write all they have to do is start working at it.

Heather Sunseri said...

I think I believe that lie at least once each and every day! But something always happens to motivate me further. I believe there's a Higher force that inpires me to move forward.

Gaia said...

I do wish I had started with keeping journals when I was young, that could have helped me improve my writing skills and perhaps teach me how to be open with my feelings. Guess it is still not too late yah?

paulgreci said...

Great post, Terri! We have to believe in our ability to learn. And when we feel that self-doubt creeping in to know that it too will pass.

Gina Conroy said...

Yep, and I'm realizing the more I learn and think I know the craft, the more I realize that I really don't know "anything." Okay, that's an exaggeration, but it's where I'm at right now.