A few years ago a co-worker and I got on each other’s nerves in a big way, so much so that I wanted to walk out the door and not come back. I carried a grudge against her for some time, even after she left that workplace.
Finally I decided life truly is too short to carry a grudge. I contacted her, we started e-mailing each other, sometimes three or four times a day. We became friends and confidantes, exchanging our joys, sorrows, trials and tribulations. I heard her excitement with her new place of employment, and, later, her frustrations with it; and her decision to leave that place when family obligations and health concerns made it hard to continue working. She heard my frustrations as well with the things of life. Every now and then we got together at a local restaurant to celebrate good things in our lives–things to look forward to, as well as books, cats, and our mutual love of the outdoors.
While she didn’t write much, except as a catharsis, she enthusiastically supported my writing efforts. She commented on blog pieces, and gave me feedback for short stories. Before submitting one particular short story to a publisher, I emailed the story to her, asking for feedback. I asked if there were any troublesome places in the story–phrases or sentences she had to reread to understand. She replied the only problem was that she didn’t want the story to end. Any writer wants to hear that! With that encouragement, I submitted the story to the publisher.
I am so glad I overcame my anger with the help of God and gave myself the gift of a friend. I am enriched by her friendship.
Photo credit: Kaitlyn Baker, Unsplash.com
I’m finally admitting it; I am a writer! How do I know that? Well, besides typing these words onto a screen, I do and experience things like this–
- I take a notebook and pen with me everywhere I go. When ideas come, I need to write them down fast, lest I forget!
- I write down ideas (like ones appearing in this blog post) on break times at work.
- I make up stories about strangers I see–where they are going, what they are like, where they work at, who they know,etc. I don’t really know any of that, so I make it up!
- I read a lot.
- I can’t not write. If I don’t write for awhile, I get irritable and anxious. Something important is out of sync when I don’t take the time to write.
- I invest in writing. I buy books about writing and purchase online courses that fit my time and money budget. I spend money and time that could be used elsewhere in an effort to get better at this activity. Lord willing, I plan to do more of the same.
- I encourage other writers. I collect encouraging, motivating quotes and pass them along. One day a writer friend and I talked about wanting to write and yet letting life get in the way of that passion. Soon after, I spotted a colorful cup that read, “Don’t quit your daydream”–a play on the words writers often hear: “Don’t quit your day job”. I bought the cup and mailed it to my friend, who uses it everyday. Writing is a solitary passion; writers can easily fall prey to those wolves of discouragement, disillusionment, and despair, so we need to encourage one another.
- I find joy and fulfillment in it. Writing is work. No, I’m not digging a ditch by hand, but pinning down exactly the right word, trying to put the words in the right order, and fighting the self-doubt that comes along is mental wrestling. Yet mixed in with all that is a joy that sings and fulfillment that relaxes. Yes, writing is work; I may never get paid much for it, but it’s the best job I’ve ever had.