Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The truth about my writing skills

There was at one point in my life, a span of years, during which a day would not pass that my fertile mind did not come up with some composition of words that I felt compelled to record via a method that would result in a copy of it in one form or another.

As you can tell by the run-on sentence above, which appears to have ambition toward becoming a paragraph, I have had little if any formal training pertaining to writing. If anyone reading this post is knowledgeable concerning the proper use of punctuation, they would notice that I am ignorant about its proper use also. 

The truth is, I had no business writing anything that may be read by someone other than myself.

I began as most novices do, with pencil and paper.  I lost count of the number of three-subject ring binders I filled up with my jotted down words.  I filled a small, portable book case with ringed binders and small note pads. After developing a noticeable callus on the first knuckle of the second finger of my left hand using number two pencils, I sought out and purchased an old, manual typewriter to do most of my writing on. I also invested in a small tape recorder that I kept in my car so I could record any thoughts that came to me as I traveled I-75 to and from my daily job up in Sharonville, Ohio five days a week.  Using those recorded thoughts to remind me about what I was mulling over as I drove, I would sit down at my typewriter after dinner and compose essays, short stories or poems about any topic, but love poems to my wife were the usual muse.

As my financial situation improved, Maureen and I decided to invest in a home computer. After that, my writing production really progressed.  As you might imagine, once I had a computer it wasn’t long before I discovered on-line diaries, journals and the joy of writing a Blog. Hard copies of my writing became a thing of the past.  I kept many file folders in my personal documents and kept them backed up on compact disk for safe keeping. I wrote requested compositions pertaining to my family to be read at gatherings such as Christmas, Thanksgiving and funerals of friends and relatives.

On my job as a supervisor in a manufacturing plant, I always carried a small note pad in one of my pockets.  I never knew when inspiration might strike and I never wanted to miss an opportunity to write it down.  There were times when one of the men I supervised would present me with a challenge.  I made it known that I was “A Writer,” a good writer and that I took requests from any and all comers. Once challenged, I would perform without fail and the person I wrote for was suitably impressed with the results.  I even surprised myself on several occasions.  It seems I did some of my best work when challenged.  Most of my treasured works came into existence at those times and I still have those compositions, keeping them close to my heart as personal keepsakes and in their own folder in My Documents Files.  I believe all writers have compositions they think of as “my best work.”

What writer hasn’t thought about writing the next great novel at some point?  OK! Perhaps not the next great novel but a book about something at least, even poetry. I can remember the day that “my book” came to me.  It came in a flash of inspiration; I saw it clearly from the first line to the last.  It was the weirdest experience of my life; so weird, it could be classified as “a supernatural event.”

I guess it’s time I revealed my relationship with the God of this universe in this story, after all, if I have accomplished anything as a writer in my  life, He gets most of the credit.  OK! Being totally honest, I also considered my addiction to tobacco as contributing to my writing endeavors too. When I had my “Born-again” experience and invited God to take over my life and use it for His purpose, He delivered me from so many negative aspects in my nature and yet, He did not see fit to take away my desire for cigarettes until the day I was able to admit; I could not quit without His help.  I had often wondered why He had done things that way.  I talked to Him about it often but He was mute about the subject. The only reason I gave smoking any credit at all was the fact that when I got serious about needing to stop smoking because it tainted my spiritual witness and was slowly killing me before my predestined time and God helped me quit cold-turkey, I discovered that my writing suffered as a result.

I know…that was a terrible sentence.  I hope you could follow my reasoning from it. I’m not going to waste a lot of time going back, trying to edit it.  Time is one element of life that I am most unsure about.  I’ve squandered so much of it along the way.  I’ve given up on writing that book.  I have about one quarter of it written, laying in a drawer somewhere but along the way, it lost its importance to me.  It also appears that it wasn’t part of His purpose or He surely would have given me a nudge now and then about finishing it.

I may be growing feeble minded but I’m still able to understand that HE was the source of any creative writing abilities I may have possessed in the past.

It was a day or two ago, when I was perusing my Word Document files, looking for something I had not used on one of my Blog posts that the truth was fully revealed to me. I am not half the writer I was back THEN.  I can go through my files of hard copies in that forgotten drawer of an old night stand stored in the extra bedroom and trace my development as a writer. Now I wish I had thought to put dates on them.  It would help me to sort things out more accurately. As they say in one of those TV ads…”You’ve come a long way Baby!”  I must confess; I truly enjoyed the journey. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Got an opinion? Share it. I love feedback. How else can I improve?