Defining Me

Lately I’ve been pondering who I am as a writer. I realize that if I’m going to attend Mount Hermon again this coming year, I need to take something with me. The question is, what? I have so many different ideas floating around in my brain (and in my writing journal). At this point, I don’t see any overall unifying theme for all of those thoughts. So where do I begin?

I feel stressed out by the fact that what I choose to really pursue first could possibly define myself as a writer. I struggle with thinking about what my “brand” might be. It even trickles into my thoughts about this blog. Should I be using this blog more strategically? Should I be focusing my blog more on my true passion? What is my passion anyway?

And that takes me to another discouarging place. My passion? (And I mean beyond the Sunday School answers. . .) Restoring community. Building marriages. Building relationships. Parenting. Applying “business” tools to every day life. Coaching. Mentoring. Organization effectiveness in churches and non-profits. Stewardship. Why does that make me discouraged as a writer? Because there are 80-million books out there on all of those topics. Books by people with more experience, more credentials, more wisdom and more skills than me. How can I ever differentiate myself? Heck, how can I ever compete with some of those people?

So I’m back to being stuck defining myself. At my writer’s group last week, we talked about how insightful creating self-portraits is. We discussed doing a self-portrait in words as a future assignment. Maybe I need to start on that sooner than later. . .

Photo: Flamingo (2007)



  1. Mary’s post earlier this week over on the Master’s Artist got me thinking about this as well. And your post here nails the feelings I’ve had in trying to pin down and pen down what I’m about. I think the self-portrait project is definitely on the radar screen, and we won’t be able to ignore it. 🙂

  2. spaghettipie

    A – Yes, that was timely post that just confirmed that I need to figure this stuff out!

    I hope I don’t sound like I’m whining; I really just meant to post my current thinking and feelings.

  3. The best thing to do is look for the golden thread that runs through all this. To me, it sounds like relationships…

    Making Relationships Better
    Practical Help for Better Community
    Strategies for a Better Life

    stuff like that.

  4. Amy

    You can always go for the “s party” book and then you will be defined as “that lady” 🙂 he he…I think whatever you decide will be worth while. You have much wisdom but often you have so much that you can’t narrow as you said. What I think your really good at is motivating people towards something worthy…whether it’s stewardship, relationships, etc…you are always motivating.

  5. Interesting comments all – and I can’t say that I disagree with any – but would encourage you, as you think through your self portrait, to think through your underlying motives for the things that you do, the things you are interested in.

    I think, based on what I read and what the others seem to see to, that there is going to be a strong relational context to what you are doing. However, relational still may not be the bottom line – are you realtional to encourage, to exhort, to serve, to lead, to teach?

    At the end of a day, what one thing would you hope that your writing would accomplish – what one sentence would you wish your audience would say in relation to your writing? Another question, when do you feel God’s pleasure in you the most? When are the times you feel most content in Him and that he is most pleased with you?

  6. spaghettipie

    RG – Yes, I guess that’s true. Relationships is one major theme. I think Stewardship may be the other one.

    A- Thanks for your encouragement. I really appreciate your wisdom.

    D – I’ll have to check that out. Thanks.

    S – Great question. I’ll give them some thought. The ironic thing is, those are some of the very questions I’ve asked other people I’ve coached. . . What do they say? The cobbler’s children have no shoes??

  7. I struggle with this same question, and lately, I’ve just embraced that my answer is: I don’t know. I just keep writing whatever bubbles up, and we’ll go from there I suppose…

  8. Pingback: Finding my voice « spaghettipie

  9. I’m late getting in on this, but I wanted to add — even if there are a ton of other books on your subject, no one can write it with your voice and your insight. You have in you a perspective no one else can see. I can’t help you decide what to do first; I’m dealing with divided interests myself. But I can encourage you (and me!) not to be intimidated. He who is within us is greater than he who is in the world and He will show you where to go and what to write.

  10. spaghettipie

    T – Thanks so much for your thoughts. It’s so encouraging to see it that way, and definitely let’s stand together un-intimidated!

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