“What do you do?” The very well-mannered, very put-together business woman running the networking event I attended a few days ago asked me with a truly genuine smile and caring eyes.

“I’m a writer,” I said. And even though that is true now of my profession, it feels less true than ever.

You see, I think the transition to adulthood is accompanied by many major changes. Some of them sneak up on us without our permission. Others, we always knew were impending, but didn’t think would actually come to fruition.

One of these changes I am only recently becoming more in touch with is that of my childlike instincts. The nature of trust that I used to have in not only those around me, but my own gut, has changed. An ever-loud world has tested me and questioned me and challenged me, and I know that we all experience the pressures of this reality. The voices of marketing, of peers, of family, of friends, of professors, of businesses, of co-workers and bosses… each of these voices can influence us into believing that something about us should be altered.

But recently, I’ve become more in touch with some of the influenced changes that I believe have been negative, one of them being my creative writing instincts.

I used to sit down and write pages and pages of prose or fiction, no problem. The ideas would flow. I would adopt the voice of a 15-year-old boy struggling with his identity and tell his story. I would spin a tale about an old woman with dementia who had just lost her husband and was reflecting on a life with little meaning, developing this character with unapologetic focus.

I used to hold fast to a quotation by Benjamin Franklin. “Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing.” What a way to think about how I spend my time as a writer, who is also a Christian!

But, as time, technology, and “voices” – plus my own inner critic – have weathered me, I know that I am less inclined to take the time to really write, to flesh out stories and characters, and to focus.

I want to change these things.

I want to finish the book I started when I was fourteen that stands at 156 pages and has about 156 to go. I yearn to recapture the child in me who finished novels in the wee hours of the night and highlighted prose to compare it to the syntax of her own stories.

Most importantly, I have deep, deep desire to want these again– more than I want the approval of the world, and more than I want to give in to the secret sins of my life, and more than I want things I’m not called to.

I know that I am a writer. It’s time to discover what that means again.

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