Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Writer's Risk

Words are my lifeline. To, really, everything.

They fuel me. They are my outlet. They make sense of the intangible. They are the steam in my kettle: when left untended, they build up too much, and I nearly explode. I am not often without words... just ask me. I'll tell you.

I need them. I am a writer.

But I am also an editor. Professionally. This means I am privileged to polish the words of writers who trust me. I look for mistakes, find better word choices, and help them say what they really, really meant to say. I craft their message to match their thoughts. I polish and shine, and then I give them the finished version. And if I got it right, they say, "Yeah. That's it. What she said."

But in the end, the words are still theirs. And if I'm not careful, I fill my days with other people's words. I have done a lot of this lately, and too much of this begins to let the air out of my balloon. Work is good; loss of creativity is draining. My desktop has been inundated with a tyranny of assignments, all needing a careful shine, all needing my attention, all belonging to many other someones.

But tonight, I finished. All of them. (There are more waiting, but not for today.)

And I rewarded myself: with words. I read, and I wrote. I wrote on notecards, in my journal, on my blog, and in my heart. I wrote in margins, in ink, in my Bible, and in emails. I found my words.

I read. And I wrote.
And I can feel myself filling up again.

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