Life seems to constantly throw distractions and road blocks our way. For me, it seems the more I attempt to focus on my passion for writing, the more difficult it becomes to find time for it. This week, however, the stars were in alignment for me as I was finally able to interview a missionary in Cambodia. We had been trying to connect for quite some time. I’m looking forward to sharing the results of that interview with my readers in the near future. Writing has been my passion as far back as I can remember. But it takes more time than I claimed to have in the past and a thick skin to endure the rejection that comes along with it. Your phenomenal idea may be just that–yours alone. I’m jumping in with both feet these days. I’ll be attending a writer’s workshop over the weekend and have been inspired to dig out the stories from the depths of my files that were left alone years ago. Characters that were left without answers, incomplete endings and messy relationships will finally wind their way to the last page of a book. My archived stories may not be the interest of every reader, but they will be completed. I’m sure the distractions will appear like the one I just encountered while writing this blog. I finished it, hit post then received messages in bold red, “Cannot Post”. There was no obvious reason for my entry to not post. So, yes, frustrated, I started over. I will endure every bit of distraction that pops up. I may have to take a few detours along the way. But, I can tell you that my heart and soul are smiling today knowing that 100% of me will be FOCUSED on my passion. I hope you will stick around to read what I’ve kept on hold in the upcoming year. I hope that if you hold a passion in your heart and soul for something you are able to carve out a slice of time for it this week..if for no other reason than to help you get back to what you enjoy the most!
Technology has forever changed not only changed the platform of learning but how we will view the “old” way of communicating with others—The Handwritten Letter. Over the years, I’ve stored away letters from family members and friends that I felt were special, funny or significant to a place in time I knew would be interesting to read years later. Some are stored away so well that I probably won’t find them unless I go digging around in the depths of boxes stored in our attic. Faded with time, many won’t even be readable in the next few years. I’ve held onto the idea of publishing a collection of old letters that tell a story. Now that I’m spending more time on my hobby with hopes that you will all be downloading one of my books on your kindles one day, that project is underway and I’m hoping that some of you might be willing and interested in contributing. So, while you are spring cleaning and de-cluttering, please consider donating or sharing your antique letters with me. As I embark on this project, I’ll be open to any letter that you held onto for all of these years–maybe a correspondence with a friend or from our own parents to one another. I want to know the story–why have you kept it so long–was there an ending to that story or was it left without an ending? I’m already off to a great start thanks to my Mom who struggles with tossing out anything with family history attached to it. She’s held onto letters from her parents, grandparents, friends of grandparents and friends of her own from her young adult years. I can’t wait to see what you might have in store for me! I cannot accept anonymous letters but it will all be kept confidential and names can be changed to protect the innocent!
I don’t remember what year is was, but I remember buying Stephen King’s, “On Writing” in an airport one day. I was struggling to find my voice, and although I had not ever made it through a Stephen King novel before then (his stories scared me silly) , I LOVED this book. It motivated me. I realized that he was just another human being with great stories stored away waiting for the right time to come out–and once they did–he was sensational!
So what is it that keeps us, the ones with those stories locked in our minds, from achieving that same success? Why is it we allow our characters to be locked away without the freedom to finish their stories? Can you imagine how sad it would be for our favorite characters to be locked away and for those great stories to never be told? What separates great writers from writers who are yet to achieve greatness? Is that separation a distraction of a phone call? Or the hundreds of forwarded emails we actually take the time to read everyday? Or the facebook status updates, twitters, tweeters, and texts? It’s time for us to focus writers! To cut out the distractions (except for my blog of course) and to allow our characters to come alive on paper! So get writing!
On of my favorite topics to write about is people–Ordinary people who accomplish extraordinary things. I’ve had the priviledge of meeting some extraordinary people, but none as impressive as a student I taught two years ago in a health class. His smile lit up my classroom, but when he spoke, he was difficult to understand. When he turned in his health goals for the semester, I had a tough time deciphering the sentences. We’ll call my former student, “Chris” for now. I asked Chris to meet with me after class so I could direct him to the college writing center for some assistance. I learned that day that Chris was one of the “Lost Boys of The Sudan”. Since that day, I have learned more from Chris about human faith and strength than I ever imagined. Chris has become a friend with a family-like connection to us. Chris told me that semester was a turning point in his life. He says that his dream to go into the medical field became a reality for him. I talked about setting goals and accomplishing dreams that semester because that is what makes us feel emotionally healthy. Chris came to the United States alone, not knowing if he would ever see his family again after being on the run for more than 15 years from the age of 9. He found a job in Atlanta, worked hard, saved up some money, moved to Texas and entered college. He completed his associate’s degree and is now working towards his degree in nursing. Chris inspired me to write an article about his life so that maybe he will inspire others who feel hopeless. After learning more about what Chris has survived to pursue a better life, my hope is that kids and adults alike will see a glimmer of hope in their own lives and realize that we have so much in the United States. We have an abundance of opportunity surrounding us. We have gifts that we allow to be buried in all the distractions that life has to offer. Chris’s story might help inspire all of us to stop wasting time and pursue our dreams.
I am working on Chris’s story and I will share it with you once I have completed it. I look forward to your feedback!