Writing affords a means of recording our thoughts, putting them on paper where we can modify and change them before finalizing them. It requires our minds mind to be active and involved and exposes us to vocabulary and grammar in the best way: practical application. We get to see for ourselves why we were taught the use of the English language the way we were. For those younger who no longer get the strong grounding in English grammar in modern America, my sympathies.
I am by no means the perfect writer, and I don't that anyone ever reaches perfection, but the more we write, the better our work becomes. And if we practice, practice and practice some more, the improvement of quality over time is amazing. It's like anything else, it requires work.
I always wrote letters and some short stories as a younger man, but I could always justify why I didn't have the time to do it as much as I wanted. I dreamed for many years about writing a book but never did so. Finally, as I neared retirement I realized that it was now or never. I had the time, I had a perfectly functional computer for word processing, a quiet and serene rural setting from which to become creative and I had plenty of subjects to write about: animals, lots and lots of animals.
I took a year long intensive writing course in the year prior to retiring and, upon completion, began submitting some short pieces. These included short stories and devotionals which, surprisingly, frequently found their mark and an audience. Next I started this daily blog, writing about politics, animals, other aspects of nature and my God. I found that it was a perfect way to practice daily, even when I wasn't working on a particular project and over time I have found a small but active audience.
Finally I took the jump and wrote my first book, Honey, We Shoulda' Bought the Ark, which is now in it's second month of availability. It is having some early success online and readers may have noticed my plugs sometimes on twitter or Facebook. And the best part, I am enjoying myself immensely and feel like I have finally completed something that I have always wanted to do. In fact, I am now beginning the early stages of my next book which will be fictional, but with a lot of real life situations included, and also involving much about nature, animals and the importance of God.
Today I have been invited to present my book at a large Christian school in Jacksonville with an audience of both students and parents. I look forward to this greatly and feel that I have been called to speak openly and in writing about God's wonders and glories.
Each of us has a built in talent that we need to cultivate. Some of us have never taken the time to really assess one's self to find that talent. Ask for God's help and look within yourself, find out what really excites you and motivates you, and your special gift will emerge. Cultivate it and use it for the glory of God. It will be of benefit to many in addition to yourself and it will give a feeling of satisfaction and joy that might have been missing in life.
Dear Lord, Thank You for making each of us different and special in our own way. Open our hearts to You so that it might help us find our special gift and use it for Your Glory. Maybe we are meant to be a writer, maybe we have a gift for speaking, maybe we just have a way with young people that helps them to grow and develop with moral strength and courage. Whatever it might be, infect each of us with Your Spirit that we might unlock our talents and gifts and use them to further Your ongoing work of of love and redemption. We ask in Jesus' name, Amen.
Honey, We Shoulda' Bought the Ark is available from outskirtspress.com/honeyweshouldaboughttheark. This author page has links to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and E-Book format. It tells of real life with real animals in rural North Florida. Animals: A Wonderful Gift from God.