Wow… 3 Years of Writing
Did you know we’re starting our fourth year of the Word blog? Yep, my first post was July 9, 2007, where I mused on how we define the canon. Since then my focus on the blog has shifted from “we had a neat discussion in my World Lit class today” to “I think I can do this writing thing” to “I’m committed to being a writer but I’m struggling wit
h…” and so forth.
Another Shift of Gears
During these three years, I have wavered back and forth with my commitment and success. But for this season of my life, I’m content.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
I went through my folders, and in these three years since we’ve started the blog, I’ve written in the neighborhood of 50 short stories and started an outline for one non-fiction book. I’ve entered writing contests, which challenged me to stretch to a higher level. All in all, it’s been a good three years.
No, I’m Not Quitting, But…
That last paragraph made me squirm because it feels a little self-congratulatory, but I’m simply reflecting on the journey, of which this blog has been a lifeline. Yet… I feel like the writing season is waning. Now granted with seven new short stories due in 3 weeks to my editor, I’m by no means quitting. But the drive to write isn’t there the same way. There are a number of possible reasons why, but this feels more like a seasonal thing.
A Time to Every Purpose
At the risk of this sounding self-absorbed, let me try to bring this home. While I’m in a season with no writing drive myself, a student has come to me with a manuscript borne out of a writing assignment from our class last year. He has a story. A good story. No, a great story. I have more of a burden to help him tell his story than I've ever had to tell any of my own. I don’t know if this is seasonal or if it means I’m really an editor/teacher at heart, but either way I’ll take it. I’m finding the greatest sense of fulfillment by helping him put this incredibly meaningful experience on paper—maybe the task the last three years of my writing experiments was preparing me for(?).
So What This Means Is….
I don’t know, but I believe in my student's story. We are eight chapters into it, and I have no idea what the future holds. But we’ve got options for printing it and we’re in that starry-eyed “sky’s the limit” stage. Sure, there will be a lot of work to reshape it, but the story is there and with that, a commitment I’ve never had for my own work.
So I’m reading books from the genre, questioning other writers and editors who’ve been down this road already, meeting with the student to coach him along, and believing for the best.
Now about You….
While this has been borderline diary, my point is that there is a very real joy from helping others tell their stories. If you’re like me and you’re struggling to find a story of your own to tell, look around you. Maybe God has blessed you with certain talents and resources to help others. Maybe after that He’ll give you a story to tell yourself. But if not, write/edit/coach/encourage/push/plan/dream with those who have the story. You’ll love every second.
Currently Reading: One Shot, One Kill by Sasser & Roberts; Getting the Message: A Plan for Interpreting and Applying the Bible by Daniel Doriani