I know it wasn’t when I was in school. I hated to write! And I’m confident it wasn’t when I was in college. I vividly recall the day Sister Mary Lou Myrick scanned the classroom and declared that some of us would become writers, perhaps even editors of magazines and literature. I remember grunting that I wouldn’t be one of those, but here I sit, thirty years later, having written a couple of books, a few lessons for adult Sunday school classes, and, yes, I even edited a magazine for a few years.
Maybe it was the advent of computers and word processors that brought me around. One wrong move on that old typewriter and a whole page was rendered useless. But computers made it easy to correct mistakes and to move sentences and paragraphs around to see where they best fit.
But whatever sparked it, one day I realized that I loved the way words sounded when placed in a certain order. I learned that I enjoyed the process of crafting phrases and giving form to ideas that lived in my imagination. I was never good at spontaneous debate, but found that I could hold my own if I could put my thoughts and ideas on paper. But despite all these discoveries, I didn’t feel qualified and was embarrassed to call myself a writer.
So, I just wrote and kept things to myself. I showed a few things to my sister who said they were good and she encouraged me to keep on. Eventually, I got brave enough to self-publish a short book of real-life stories. Some friends said they enjoyed it, but the turning point for me came when Barbara Westberg, an experienced author, agreed to critique it. I was in shock when I received her email. I couldn’t believe that a published author and editor would say that my work was decent, had merit, and that I should get more involved in writing! That email, printed on my old dot-matrix printer, is a treasure I’ve kept because for the first time somebody with credibility gave me permission to be a writer.
So, I’ve embraced the calling of being a writer. I say its a calling because I’m not a versatile craftsman who can create a technical manual for an electric knife or a historical biography depending on what he is assigned that day. My writing has to originate within my own passion or be the natural outflow of my life’s work. I don’t have the fire to create something that I’m not vested in.
The development of the internet has spawned a whole new breed of writers. This group excels at what I find difficult. Rather than giving life to ideas swarming in their heads, they figure out what others want and create that for them. While I find satisfaction giving expression to my own visions, these writers enjoy finding a niche and creating content for that market. The digital world has made it easy for any would-be writer to try his hand at the craft and see if it clicks.
Are you a writer? Do you have the desire, but have never comfortable pursuing the art of writing? There has never been a better time to make it happen.
Let’s talk! Leave a comment below and let me know if you want to spend more time honing your writing. Or if you are still a little hesitant to make it public, you can email me. [email protected]