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Saturday, 5 December 2015

More than....? by Janey Clamp

It doesn't take much to spark off a train of thought that may lead to something I later write about. Not long ago I found myself musing all day about the fact that I thought the elastic was going in my pyjama trousers. It played on my mind all day until, at 4.30pm - that dead hour before the dinner needs to be started - I wrote it all down in a light-hearted blog. So it is that this blog today has been provoked by the very title I read every morning on the ACW website: More than Writers.

This phrase has been going round in my head in two different ways. First, it has strong overtones of Paul's famous exhortation in Romans 8:37 that we are more than conquerors. I have a Marmite sort of relationship with this verse. When I love it, it's because it lifts my spirits in those times when life presses hard and I need the reminder that God is the one - the only One - who can not only fight for me but stand alongside me when I'm in the midst of the action. When I hate it, it's because Christians seem adept at using this verse as a weapon against their already battle-weary brother or sister. Take the example of my former pastor's wife who berated me over not going to a prayer meeting because I had a kidney infection (one of the ouchy, hot-browed kind). Didn't I know I was more than a conqueror? she barked. Didn't she know anything about caring, never mind overcoming?

The other way that the MtW slogan has got under my skin is because I am more than a writer, but my heart's desire is to be only a writer! I am writing this blog during the heat of NaNoWriMo, a month where I have been busier than ever with work and family commitments and a whole host of other random pressures. Goodness me, if I were "only" a writer, I would be knocking out those words like bubbles from a kiddy's toy. 1667 words per day? Pah! Child's play! As is it, a typical day has been to start from near exhaustion, then embarking on eight hours of hard slog decorating a barn conversion followed by dashing home, showering, giving a couple of piano lessons, remembering to eat (if I'd remembered to shop..) then expecting my completely foggy brain to come up with scintillating action-packed story lines which my weary fingers have to bash out.

All that aside, life is what it is, of course, with its silly seasons and simpler seasons; its times of great inspiration and times of creative drought. And, do you know? I'm grateful for all that. I really am. God is shaping my life; He's not done with me yet. So I plough on, determined to conquer each daily challenge and to know that, yes, I am more than a writer. I'm a precious child of God, and that makes me a winner any day.

5 comments:

  1. Very well said Janey. We are more than just writers. Life has a way of encroaching and yet we still write. We do still bash out the words on those keys.

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  2. I can really relate to your blog, Janey. Thank you for sharing.

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  3. Yep: I am a lot more - housekeeper, cat carer, gardener, shopper, pray-er, cleaner, friend, mum (of adults but still a mum), wife (yep that takes time - and not in the silly obvious way you are thinking), oh yes, and I am a painter and sometimes the 'artist in me' is equally frustrated as the writer - possibly more so ... :-)

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  4. After a bit of a battle for 9 years, I have come to see myself as someone with a very full life who sometimes gets time to use all that fullness in writing. When I've just been too busy to get any writing done, I try to think of it as time spent accumulating more life experience which will make my writing deeper, truer and give me more reader-empathy. Well it helps (a bit) when I feel like screaming . . .

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  5. Interesting, I have wondered what I thought about the title and now have lots more food for thought! As someone who is at the "beginning" of writing I often feel like can I "even" be a writer. Carving out enough time to use the word "writer" feels beyond me! Thanks for that really helpful comment Fran, I think that's a great way to look at it.

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