I’m getting ready to teach creative writing at a summer camp next week. I recently typed the journal of a my stepmother’s father dated 1895-1908. Someone at church stopped me yesterday for a kick in the pants to do their own writing. Suddenly I’m realizing how important it is for everyone to find their own voice and write it down.
The kids need to learn that everyone can write. Certainly there are people with a talent for writing, but everyone can write what they dream. God is the Grand Author, the Word. He allows us to tap into His creativity as much as we want. I’m so excited to see what kids, older and younger, think about. It could be the start of a lifelong journey and I get to be part of it.
My stepmother’s father wrote down his hopes and dreams and chronicled his life as a pastor traveling through Northern California. He talked about selling his good horse and buying a bicycle. He talked about having to use oil lamps when he moved to a house without electricity. He talked endlessly about being in love and his delight when he and his wife were finally married. Those memories are so precious. We need to journal, video, or somehow capture who we are. This man who lived so long ago had no idea about who I would be, yet his journal touches me. Our memoirs don’t have to be published, but having something to pass down to the generations that follow will bless them and teach them more than you know.
And what about that person who stopped me at church? He has a book in him – three in fact. They’ve been roiling around in his brain for years and they need to come out. What have you got in you? I won’t kid you, writing a book is hard work, but if it’s in you, get it out! Even if you make copies that only get to a small audience, it may go exactly to the one person who needs it most. We are not islands. Most of what Jesus talked about in the New Testament was about how we relate to other people. What you have is to be shared and by sharing with each other, we all win.
I love to hear that people are writing, for private or public consumption. There’s some housecleaning that goes on in your brain when you write. It helps settle thoughts that you never quite clarified in your mind and opens the door for new ideas. Like Indiana Jones stepping off the cliff onto an unseen bridge, you sometimes don’t see the creativity until you actually start writing. Now go forth dreamer! Write something!