My friend Cheryl talked about Jeff Goins. She talked about a book he wrote about writing. She talked about an exercise in that book about deciding you are a writer.
I noted the book and the idea and moved on. A few days later, I saw that the book, You are a writer, was free for my Kindle. So I ordered it. And started to read it. And got to the exercise.
Jeff says, “write down these four words: ‘I am a writer.'” (He says a lot more around that, and you really ought to get this ebook if you are thinking about being a writer, so I’m not going to steal his explanations.) So a bit later, I got one of my journals and got ready to write “I am a writer.”
I couldn’t. I tried, but I realized that I couldn’t say that. I write. But I could not say that I was a writer. So I let the exercise soak for a couple days. If I am not a writer, what am I? I know there are lots of roles and lots of oughts. But I wanted to wrestle this through.
Finally I was ready. I turned back to my notebook and wrote, “I am a teacher.” It was an exhilarating moment. I write because I am a teacher and somewhat introverted. I do lots of things at work, but underlying them is being a teacher.
I did, by the way, go back a few days after that realization and ask, “What do I teach?” Because it’s not enough to teach. There must be content. And I wrote, “I teach people how to obey everything that Jesus commanded.” It wasn’t until I looked at what I had written that I realized it sounded a lot like an assignment that Jesus gave as he was disappearing (though not leaving) from the disciples.
It is a powerful, freeing, convicting exercise.
Of course, now I have to do it. And maybe you could, too.
Take a pen and paper. And write, “I am a …
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