originally published in The Moody Standard, issue 77.11, in May, 2012, as my first column as editor-in-chief of The Moody Standard
I have never really stopped being surrounded by words. My grandfather worked as an editor for the majority of his career, and my mother is a freelance writer and editor. The love of words is in my blood.
At age four, “words” began to fascinate me, and before long, reading became my passion. By the time I graduated from high school, I had established a class newsletter and spent a summer working for a local Christian newspaper. Fast forward to today: by choosing to major in communications, work for the newspaper, and pursue internships in the communications field, I have condemned myself to never escaping this world.
Luckily, I am okay with that. I chose to be in a love affair with words and grammar, but not because of my heritage or because it seemed like the established path for me. I chose it because I loved it.
For a long time, I kept up a blog. I wrote to entertain myself, and it was just a bonus if anyone else enjoyed it. I also wrote for The Moody Standard and for my mom’s freelancing businesses.
But at some point in the past year, I stopped writing as much. Once in a while I would go back, click through 20 or so partial drafts and flirt with the idea of finishing a few. Every time, I would ultimately click the little gray “x” on my browser window, and my blog would stay in a lonely, cold corner of the Internet, unchanged.
Granted, writing itself has never been my particular passion in the broad world of communications. In fact, writing and I have an ongoing love-hate relationship.
Incomprehensible to most people, I actually prefer editing. I prefer critiquing someone else’s work to creating my own from scratch—not (entirely) because I love to criticize, but because I enjoy making someone else’s writing better. Although if I am honest, it is also because I love geeking out about grammar, logical sentence structure and improper uses of certain mischievous punctuation marks (I am looking at you, ellipses and hyphens).
But writing, wonderful and dreadful writing, is intertwined with editing, and I have not really engaged in either activity for quite some time. I would like to be able to explain why I stopped, but I do not actually know. What I do know is that I have been ignoring something huge in my life, something for which I have a God-given passion. And that missing piece has generated a distinct feeling of being half-baked, unfinished.
This fall I will be entering into a new role on the newspaper staff as editor-in-chief. I am terrified of it. But I am also excited. It is an opportunity, a reason, to write and edit constantly—and I know that in the process I will inevitably reignite an old love.