Christine Organ is a writer and blogger who lives in the hip and happening suburbs of Chicago. She is a part-time freelance writer. Full-time SAHM to two rambunctious little boys. Adoring wife of her rock-solid husband. Owner of two sometimes-naughty-but-always-cute dogs. She blogs at Random Reflectionz about life, love, and humanity – and everything in between. She is currently seeking an agent and/or publisher for her first book, “Swimming Upstream: Embarking on an Authentic Faith Journey,” and you can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.
The desire to write grows with writing. - Desiderius Erasmus
Am I a writer?
No, I don’t think so. Sure, I write. But, I am not a writer. The others are writers, not me.
A writer is the journalist who lives a glamorous lifestyle traversing the globe unearthing gritty stories. A writer is the essayist whose byline appears in glossy magazines like The New Yorker and The Atlantic, or even trashy rags like People and Us Weekly. A writer is the novelist whose printed books boast stunning covers and catchy titles and sit atop shelves of bookstores and libraries. A writer is the blogger with thousands of followers and expensive ad space.
Me, a writer? No, definitely not.
I’m just someone who realized as a law student, and later as a young lawyer, that I had a knack for writing legal briefs and memos coherently and without unnecessary legalese. I’m just someone who later moved on to a job at which I wrote legal marketing materials and the occasional client memo. I’m just someone who now has a part-time freelance writing gig. I’m just someone who blogs and has a complete manuscript for my first book saved to my computer’s hard drive. I’m just someone who writes. A lot.
I write and I write and I write. I write when I’m at the computer. I write when I’m awake in the middle of the night and can’t sleep.
I write for the mental stimulation. I write for the money. I write for the entertainment. I write for the peace of mind. I write and I write and I write.
If I’m spending all this time and mental energy writing, could that mean that maybe I am actually a writer?
If I write, but I am not wildly successful, does that mean that I’m not really a writer? If editors and agents aren’t banging down my door, does that mean that I’m just an unsuccessful writer? If my pieces aren’t glittering the pages of highbrow magazines or featured on websites like HuffPost, does that mean that I’m just a writer wanna-be, destined to worship the “real” writers from afar?
When I considered Erin’s call to write about my writer roots, I initially struggled with the idea of considering myself a writer. I hesitate to call myself a writer. The others are writers, not me. I am a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend. And I just happen to spend a fair amount of time writing.
As I struggled with the concept of what it means to be a writer and how it relates to my writing roots, it dawned on me that I may have always been a writer, preferring to express myself with the written word over the spoken. As a lawyer, I could develop winning legal arguments on paper, but had difficulty articulating the same ideas in conversation. As a wife, I can write long, almost poetic, love letters to my husband, but have a harder time getting my point across when looking into his eyes. As a friend, I maintain many committed friendships via the exchange of lengthy emails, but I despise talking on the phone.
I started blogging about six months ago as the platform for a manuscript of a religious memoir that I hope to publish one day. But in the past six months of blogging, writing has fed my soul and held me to a higher state of accountability than I would have imagined. And not long ago, I realized that, for as long as I can remember, I have been a mental writer, crafting stories, dialogue, and sentence structures in my mind.
As I consider my writing roots and what it means to be a writer, I realize that maybe we are what we choose to identify with and how we choose to define ourselves. We are more than those characteristics that can be measured by conventional standards of success. Rather, we are an amalgamation of those activities and roles that fulfill us, sustain us, inspire us, and feed our soul.
I write, and my desire to write grows.
I write, and my skills are sharpened.
I write, and my techniques are polished.
I write, and my soul is fulfilled, my mind awakened, my body energized.
So, am I a writer? You bet I am.