Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Celebrating Self by Shellie R. Warren

Isn’t it weird (and a little sad) how you don’t really make the time to think about what you are thankful for or appreciative of until Thanksgiving rolls around or you meet someone like Angie Ledbetter who just flat out asks you?

A couple of days ago, she told me about this wonderful project she was doing with some writer friends, but I must admit, when she offered me the invitation to submit a rant, rave or two, it took me a second to even come up with something type-worthy.

Not that I am spoiled or anything, but to be honest with you, I have spent so much time focusing on “wanting more” that I haven’t really thought about “what I have” in quite some time. The irony of this blog platform is that without my initially realizing it, I’ve discovered that it’s actually an answer to one of my prayer requests and goals for the New Year: to celebrate myself, personally and professionally.

When it comes to writing, I am now celebrating my eighth year as a professional writer. Now, if you have this same claim to fame (being a writer for a living, I mean), then you know it’s not as glamorous as it sounds. Even today---literally today---I’m trying to figure out how to pay my Internet bill so I can send off my invoices to get paid for some of the articles I did months ago; ones that, had the money come in on time, hustling for cash wouldn’t be an issue at this second---literally this second.

But yet, when I think about the years of my life before 2000: years of being in school and not knowing what the heck to do; years of working in Corporate America and hating every minute of it; years of not knowing what my purpose in life was or what my personality and talents were meant to accomplish, these past eight years---house-sitting with cars about as old as I am and all---have been some of the greatest times of my life.

Writing is not paying the bills as much as I would like (yet), but I can say that I am a full-time freelancer, and because I spend a lot of my writing time putting, as my mother would say, “emotional throw-up” on paper, as a survivor of sexual abuse, assault, promiscuity, abortion and just plain ole’ confusion and depression, it has saved me a mint in therapy, and so yes, for that, I am mighty thankful.

But what it has also done is given me a voice in this world---maybe for this time, maybe not. It doesn’t really matter. When it’s right, I will be heard. How do I know? A best-selling author by the name of Alice Randall once told me that we write because we're destined to. It may not be for this generation. Someone may find something you scribbled on a napkin 50 years ago, but when they find it, that’s when it is supposed to be read, processed, heard.

I think that is what I am most thankful for. That of all of the gifts God has to give to his children, he entrusted me with the gift of writing. Even when I doubted, he believed that I had a voice that needed to be heard. Thanks to this blog, now and who knows, maybe even 50 years into my future.

Shellie R. Warren is a full-time writer in Nashville, TN. When she's not writing an assignment or pitching one, she's getting her non-profit, Butterfly Angel (http://www.butterangel.org/) off of the ground or working on her second and third books, "Make Him Weak in the Knees (in Prayer)" and "Dramaholics." Her memoir, "Inside of Me; Lessons of Lust, Love and Redemption" was released in 2004. For more information go to www.myspace.com/missnosipho.


Angie Ledbetter said...

Great post and thanks for participating! Blessings through 2008 as you celebrate self more.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Nodding my head. I see similarities in your words that I relate to my own life. Thank you for participating.

Nannette Croce said...

"Emotional throw up" what a great term.

I think as writers we are always focusing on the future. Whether writing for a deadline, waiting for a reply on the submission/query, checking for those contest results, knowing full well the winners don't have to wait to find themselves on a list.It makes it hard to focus on the present. This blog has made me do that as well.

I love hearing new voices. Thanks.

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