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10 Reasons I love a writer's life

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

1. Quiet mornings

Nothing feels quite as good or as energizing as waking up before anyone else in the house. I revel in the pure peacefulness of the place. No voices. No television. Even the dog sleeps. This is my moment, alone in the home I love, to let silence wrap itself around me like a blanket. I feel the energy of my mind and give in to its promptings. My laptop screen glows. Hot coffee steams beside me. Papers clutter across the table. My thoughts pour out, and I find my greatest expressions.

2. Dedicated time to think

This world pulls our attention away constantly. It’s designed to do so. Flashing lights. Honking horns. Buy this. Try that. Listen to me. Look here. Every once in a while, it feels empowering to symbolically say “STOP” and embrace the silence to think - think about life and family and the universe and God and our calling and whatever else comes to mind. Like a carpenter furiously sketches out renderings, I become lost in my work. I think we could all be happier people if we just took some regular time to think.

3. Grappling with big ideas

Big ideas. Big life-changing ideas. Transformational ideas. The kind that evolve who you are as a person. Those are my favorite! When the riots started in Baltimore and everyone was freaking out, it was a perfect opportunity to not react but rather grapple with big ideas. While people were making all kinds of startlingly inappropriate comments on Facebook and sweeping generalizations on both sides of the issue, I stopped to grapple. I listened and thought and thought and thought. What came out of it? Understanding. Empathy. Compassion. I had conversations with white people, black people, and brown people and each one was astoundingly awesome. Discovering ways to bring healing, closeness, peace, and real solutions can be the result of grappling with big ideas. My reward came when an old friend and I of difference races had a long, beautiful, respectful, eye-opening conversation in which we both walked away feeling like we had grown love in the world.

4. Seeing the results of hard work

We need to know our efforts have results. I’m a writer. I get to see the results immediately. When I put pen to paper, I create something. Writing is my art form, my expression, my creative outlet. Some see those results through building or gardening or launching a company or simply paying the bills. Results feel good. They show us our power and our capability.

5. Sending ideas into the world

As a journalism student at St. Bonaventure University, one of my all-time favorite classes was opinion and editorial writing with Dr. Denny Wilkins. The editorial page, I learned, is like a forum for community conversations. It is a place where people can exercise public discourse and dialogue. How exciting to take a well-developed idea and send it out like a paper ship on a pond and see if it withstands the test or wanes in the waves; to see if it makes it back to shore intact or disappears. Then, we take those results and rework our ship and try again!

6. Prompting great conversations

When a great and strong idea is born and sent out into the world, it inevitably draws others in and starts a ripple of conversation that can lead to real social change. All good things start with a word, and all bad things for that matter. Words can be like a physical presence that exists, because you have felt them as if they reached right out and touched you. Just because they are invisible doesn’t mean they don’t have intense and powerful implications on everything around them. Responsible people know the power of words and prompt goodness out of great conversation.

7. Building a long-term legacy

For me, my writing is like a lifetime of work stored up in volumes; like encyclopedias showcasing my transitions and capturing my story to leave behind. I do not want my life to be meaningless. I often talk about my theory that this earth (as well as every individual on it) contains an inner scale – a simple line. On one side is love, and the other, hate. Every day we chose, individually and collectively, where we fall on that scale. My writing, my life’s work, and your life’s work (whatever that might be) should leave a legacy that tips the scales toward good.

8. Standing for something: reading still matters!

I grew up a block and a half from the library. I can still smell it if I close my eyes. Crisp pages. Tall shelves. Perfect silence. The library was my escape and my oasis. Not everyone loves to read in general, but everyone loves a story that connects with their heart and soul. My daughter hates reading. Her ADHD and Autism make it very difficult. But boy did she love Manga growing up! Some people have the same experience by watching a story. A great movie can be like reading a book. Reading matters. It’s a beautiful skill and it is our history; our proof as a people that we were here on this earth. I love contributing to the world through my writing.

9. Working out of my gifting

For me, my gift is writing. For you, it may be something else; but everyone on earth should know what their unique gifts and abilities are and work out of those instead of toiling from a place of weakness. When we work out of our gifting, we can accomplish the GREAT things – the things that make people stand in awe with their mouths hanging open. We can accomplish things that bring a tear to the eye and a stirring in the heart when we operate out of our gifting.

10. Drawing on family history

Bless my mother and father. They are thinkers. They taught me to think for myself. When I write, I am calling on their very spirits because I would not be able to do what I do without their influence. I’ll never forget sitting for hours listening to “The Great Pretender” by the Platters or Fat’s Domino’s “Blueberry Hill,” with my dad in the living room. I’ll never forget watching the Battle of Britain with him. I will forever remember seeing my mom stand at the kitchen counter with flour all over her tattered Better Homes and Gardens cookbook making the most delicious apple pie. They were learners and my writing is a continuation of them. Any work can either be a continuation of family or the beginning of your own legacy, which you will leave behind for those looking to you for guidance and direction.

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