When the Guy Wearing Ray-Bans Says Those Four Words

Less than a month after God and I decided to try out this writing thing, I met someone.

A man I had never before heard of stood on stage at a conference telling some story about asking a girl out in middle school. I think he wanted to convince us to take risks, but I really heard only four words:

I am a writer.

That’s all I needed to hear before I felt God say, “Go talk to him. You want to write, he’s a writer; talk to him.”

He wore Ray-Ban glasses and cracked himself up at his own jokes, but I was still intimidated by those four words, “I am a writer.” After his session, I made up every excuse in my head of why I shouldn’t talk to him.

What are you going to say to him? What good is telling this guy anyway, what can he do? You can’t really be a writer. He’s going to laugh at your ignorance. And (most importantly) It’s lunchtime. 

Before I could throw out another reason to not talk to him, there I was, hand extended, introducing myself. “Hi, my name is Carrie and I am supposed to talk to you.”

Spoken like a true writer.

He agreed to meet with me and asked that I send some writing samples for him to read ahead of time.

Right, let me just get you my portfolio.

The next day we met outside the training center. Sure, it was January, but January in Georgia, and the sun shone between the wooden beams of the pergola making the temperature difference between the shade and the sun about 12 degrees. The shadows danced across the ground as a breeze blew through the tree branches above us.

We talked about Spain and traveling and dreams, but more than anything we talked about writing and how it is all about deciding to do it. And right in the midst of my bouncing in that brown patio chair he said the four words I never thought I would hear:

You are a writer.

My chair was still. Even though it made no sense and no one had ever published anything I had ever written and the fear in me was so apparent as if written across my forehead, I believed him. I actually believed the guy in the Ray-Bans who laughed at his own jokes.

Because he believed in me.

Until you acknowledge this — that you are a writer — you are depriving the world of a gift it longs for. One that stands the test of time. One that could leave a legacy.

Jeff Goins, You Are a Writer

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