Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Speaking of Writing . . .

Last week I spoke before a group of historians and archivists at the University of Indianapolis for an annual Jurisdictional dinner.  Afterwards, one gentleman began talking to me about his writing, but was equally perplexed by the question:  "How can you write so much while also spending 50+ hours a week pastoring a church?"  This is a question I get all the time--and surprisingly, it was a conversation that I had with three other people the very same week.

"Where do you find the time?"

Answer (s):

My wife makes it possible.
     Sure, I joke about my wife, and she's a good sport to take my good-natured ribbing and Henny Youngman-esqe marital in stride.  (Youngman's signature line was:  "Take my wife, for instance.  Please, somebody take her!")
     But the fact is, for nearly thirty years my wife has been the better sport about leaving me alone when I'm in my writing zone.  She doesn't get up at 4 a.m. most mornings and she doesn't stay up until midnight because she wants to be by my side or she can't get enough of me.  (Well, she can't get enough of me, but that's another story!)  When she sees I'm working at my station, reclining on the couch in my underwear, nacho chips strewn in my chest hair and coffee dribbling down my chin, she just sighs and walks away.  (Can you blame her?)
     She does get frustrated, however, when she talks for thirty minutes, face-to-face, and I claim the next morning that the conversation never happened.  But really, I was working . . . .
Time is what we make of it.
     I could wax on here about the choices each of us make in life regarding our time.  But the fact is, I have time to write so much because I make time to write so much.  I enjoy the physical endeavor of writing (not just thinking about the finished product, or the article, or the poem, or the book).  I write FAR MORE material than I ever get into print. 
     The point being . . . writing takes time.  But so does watching TV, doing a crossword puzzle, or painting or sewing or working with wood.  (I'm not knocking any of these pursuits, mind you . . . I'm just saying I spend time writing every day.  I enjoy it.  But I work hard at it . . . every day.  (And I've been doing it for nearly 40 years now.)

I like to talk about writing, too.  (And authors and editors and publishing.)
     I do.  I love helping others with their books, their ideas, and discussing what I know about getting into print, or enjoying writing, or creating, or "how to" do it.  I don't know everything (in fact, I know very little). But I like to help, and I like admitting that I don't know much about writing. After 40 years, it's still a mystery.
     The gentleman wanted to know if I'd read his book or give him some pointers.  Check.  Check.
     And if there are any others out there who would love to take a writing class with me (not by me, but with me!) let me know.  I'd love to see what we could create and learn together.

Your friendly neighborhood nerd,

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