I had one of those experiences that makes me realize I'm a typical Midwesterner today. It came to me as I thought about a conversation I had while at work at the coffee shop over the lunch hour. The conversation went something like this:
"So, you're the editor of the Today magazine?"
"Yes, I am."
"So do you write as well?"
"Well, usually two or three articles each month."
"Does it come easily?"
[insert awkward feeling, long pause on my part.....]
"I guess so. Most of the time."
Did you spot it there? Just at the end? The big "MIDWESTERNER/IOWAN" sprang up and bit me!
Why is it so hard for so many of us to simply say, "Yes" when it comes to acknowledging a gift or talent we might have?
It's not like the person I was talking to was trying to discover if I had an overly inflated sense of my self or my abilities! She genuinely wondered if I found writing to be a major pain/difficult task or not. (She is on her own journey of discovery about her own gifts and talents and reflecting on whether writing is something she could or would pursue.)
I have been writing on a fairly regular basis since I received my first diary in 4th grade. I have always enjoyed writing letters. Through the years I've had many pen pals, both in the U.S. and across the world.
In high school I was on the newspaper. Although I'm a GREAT procrastinator and usually finished papers about 4 hours before deadlines in college, I still enjoyed writing and usually received good marks on my papers. In grad school, the writing continued. As a pastor, I did a lot of writing--newsletters, sermons, letters, etc.
Now I write for a living. (Ok, it probably doesn't qualify as a "living" given the fact it's less than half-time, but it's what I do!)
I often hear people who seem honestly amazed that I write. Not because they know me and wonder how on earth I can do it, but more so because they do not see in themselves the ability to write, let alone for publication. It has led me to believe that writing is a gift or talent. Not everyone has the ability. I am blessed.
We need to learn to claim the gifts and talents we have been given. We don't need to be showy about them, but neither do we need to be overly humble or dismissive of them. I'm learning to simply say "yes" when someone inquires whether I've done a knitted piece which catches the viewer's eye.
I think next time I am asked if I write and whether or not it comes easily, I will smile and simply say, "yes."
(And yes, I took the photo.)