Is there a moment when you realize you're actually a writer? It's such a strange profession. It's something I've done my whole life. Snatches of ideas finding words and bleeding onto paper, in the privacy of my own room. Rarely is there much interaction. I don't have a publisher or agent, or big paycheques or book signings or tours or releases, the things I associate with being a "real" writer. I feel as though I'm still at play.
And yet, I wonder if I am on the brink of change. I do have a few published essays. I do have a few paycheques for my writing. I have two scripture studies that, if I put my mind to it, might actually be worth sending along to a publisher.
I had a moment a few weeks back when I was writing a script for a job I had been contracted for. I had questioned the need for my services, not because I didn't want the work but because I felt the director already had a clear script in mind, and it did not need any dialogue written. The producer assured me that, to help with production and client services, they wanted a formal script for every project, and would I just write it all out anyway. And so I took the director's ideas and crafted, sculpted, produced a few pages that conveyed the story. As I sat back and read the final draft, I smiled and allowed myself a pat on the back. In fact, what I had created told the story much better than the director's notes. I had not trusted that with a small gift for writing I could help a client really visualize what they were spending their money on. I captured the story and vision of a director and gave it a tangible life. And I realized that there was great validity in what I was doing.
To feel this kind of purpose in our work is necessary to the healthy production of what we do. I came across this quote today, which has helped me process these thoughts:
"The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away."
I am fortunate to be able to earn a small sum of money as I give away my gift, but what I love about gifts and talents is that it fills us so full that it can't help but pour out, monetarily compensated or not. To give away that which is within me brings such joy.