An Introduction to the Blog Series: Blogging in His Light

An Introduction to the Blog Series-Blogging in His Light

I have learned to describe myself as a writer and personal/faith blogger. Even though I do not have published books in Barnes and Noble, I am still a writer. And even though I do not have thousands and thousands of followers, I am still a blogger. Despite my modest following, I choose to write and blog. I love writing, and I have discovered that I can use my blog to encourage others. When I write about challenging subjects such as grief, I am sharing my experiences about a subject that others may not want to talk about. When I write about racism and how the Church should respond to it, I am being real about a topic that others just want to whisper about.

As you know, God has given all of us gifts so that we can use them purposely. So, I write and blog about the tough stuff. I read the blogs of other folks who write about the tough stuff and how God helped them to endure their circumstances. I am encouraged by this online community, and I want you, the readers, to know about these fantastic voices.

Since my blog, afrotaticlady.com will be turning two (woot woot!) on August 27th, I have decided to do another blog series! The blog series, Blogging in His Light, is a showcase of admirable Christians who write and blog. Starting tomorrow and ending in late August, I will be posting interviews that I conducted with them.

If there was an awards show for Christian bloggers, these are the bloggers that should be recognized. Please join me in this celebration of my comrades in blogging.

Also, if you are a reader of blogs, please tell me who your favorite bloggers are?

Be blessed,

Monica aka afrotasticlady

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Choosing to Be a Writer/Artist

A few years ago, I was at a church service in which I shared a piece of my writing with the congregation. After the service was over, a woman (I think she may have been a minister, but I cannot recall) approached me, pointed her finger and said in an authoritative voice:

“YOU ARE A WRITER”

I have had other people in church inform me that they enjoy my writing. But when this woman spoke to me in such a bold tone, I felt as though God was speaking through her. I needed to hear that I was a writer, because I had not taken the gift and the art of creating seriously. I knew that I was a writer, and that I liked to write, but I thought it was unrealistic to think that my writing could be published somewhere.

I have always been a writer. I grew up writing in journals and notebooks where the pages were nearly ripped off of its spiral. In high school, I allowed my friends to read my “books.” I recited my poems in high school shows and church services. As the years passed, I realized that I loved going to the theater and watching people put their own twist to their lines. I loved going to concerts and looking at the enthusiasm on a person’s face as they sung or played an instrument. I found joy in the artistry that folks had.

Finally, I have figured out that I am an artist. I wonder if I am being pretentious when I describe myself that way. It’s a word that seems like it should be reserved for famous writers, painters, dancers, singers, and other creative folks. My writing is not famous; my words are not in books. But the word “artist” explains so many facets of my personality.

For instance, I am always thinking and observing the details of people, things, and surroundings. I like details, as I want to see every little piece that makes up a whole. I think a lot, and I have to quickly catch my creative thoughts. I usually write them in my phone or scribble them on a piece of paper.

Journal

I have times where I need more than scrap paper. The creative thoughts can get so tangled up that I need to sit somewhere and write. Write and write until the words become untangled. Write and write so I do not have to keep the thoughts stuffed in my mind.

Recently, I spoke to one of my professors in my social work program about my passion for writing. I was concerned that I could not be a creative writer and a social worker. I wanted to know if the roles could co-exist, or did I have to pick one? My professor explained to me that there are many social workers who are writers, and that many folks choose the field of social work because of the diversity of positions that you can work in. The professor told me that she is a writer, and she encouraged me to dedicate a morning or a few mornings to writing. Essentially, it does not matter what time I choose to write, but I have to choose to invest in the gift.

I believe I have been resistant to the words “artist” and “writer,” because of my perfectionism and my game of comparing myself to others. Perfectionism is about my ego. When I am perfectionist, I do not allow myself to write, because I do not think I have anything “perfect” or “eloquent” to say.  When I do not write, I do not share the gift that God has given me. Since God has given me this gift and this love of writing, I should use it.

I am a writer. I am an artist. And yes, it is scary to say those words and to write those words. But I want the gift to be used. I love how certain words sound next to each other and how words can make a person feel. I want to continue writing blog posts and creating short stories and poetry. I even want to try other forms of art that I have not explored fully.

I have read a few blog posts in which the bloggers have wrestled with the word “writer.” I want to encourage these bloggers by saying:

YOU ARE A WRITER, WRITING IS YOUR GIFT, & CHOOSE TO INVEST IN THE GIFT!”

By the way, I have an update about my blog, and I want you to please check out the following video. Oh, if you are not from New England, I hope you are still enjoying the weather…watch the video and you will get what I am saying:

 

 

*Participated in the following link-up!

Open Mic Monday

My Friendship With Words

Ah words…I love words. In August, I wrote a post called “Sounds+Words,” which detailed my love of music. Now, I will write about my love of words through writing. I’ve been writing since I was a little nugget. I’m not a nugget anymore, but I still love writing, reading, and thinking about words in my head.

One of my best childhood memories is of my dad and I at the Worcester Public Library. I remember the old Worcester Public Library before it was remodeled. The library had this old-fashioned look, but it was one of my favorite places. My dad and I would look for books to borrow. I would spend a long time in the stacks of the Children’s Room and grab a stack of books to borrow. I was fascinated by all kinds of books, especially biographies and autobiographies.

In elementary school, I spent several outside recesses, reading books and writing. I was shy and I did not have any friends. My best friend moved to another school when I was in the 3rd grade, so I spent a lot of time by myself.  I was teased by the other kids as well. Even though I did not have those human friendships, I had words. I could fall into imaginary worlds and learn about historical figures in books. I could write poems and stories. Words were my expression!

As I continued to grow, I wrote constantly. Some folks might remember the “books” that I wrote in spiraled notebooks. I took all of the fictional stories that were swirling in my head and jotted them down on paper. And folks loved my words. My friends read my “books,” and I even performed my poems at school shows

In college, my friendship with words became strained. I still wrote poetry, but I began to compare myself to others. I felt that I was not a stellar writer, and I wanted to write better. I felt that my poetry could not compare to the spoken word pieces that other students wrote. I can admit that I felt jealous, and I did not take care of the gift that God gave me.

I believe that God has given each of us a gift or talent. Indeed, you are probably saying that you do not have a gift, but you do. If there is something that you do well, it is probably your gift. I do not always take care of my gift of writing like I should, but I feel that it is the gift that God has given me.

Sometimes, I do get caught up in the competition. I think, “Why can’t I be a singer?” I have numerous friends who are wonderful singers. Singing is their gift. I can get into the mindset of wanting the gift to sing or to belt out tunes. When I make this wish, I am pushing my friendship with words away. I am not cherishing the gift that God has instilled in me.  I need to hold onto my gift, as God gave it to me to hold onto and to grow. Like a plant needs a water, a writer needs to write.

I have decided to keep the writing going through blogging. I have not written a poem or a short story in a while, but I know the words are sitting in my head.

-Blessings y’all!