I don’t have a lot of time to enjoy these daily prompts, but I love to get involved with them when I can. However, I almost passed this one by because I have several different jobs — all of which are super important to me — and I knew I couldn’t write a post about all of them. But on more reflection, I decided to choose just one and respond concerning that particular job. So I’m choosing my job as a writer.
I have worn a number of different hats, even as a writer. I’ve written stories since childhood and wrote my first full-length play when I was in the sixth grade. As an adult, I progressed to writing for and eventually editing and publishing newsletters for different organizations — as well as small pamphlets for ministry purposes. (One of my other jobs is running a full-time ministry.) But as far as being paid for my writing jobs, I’d have to say that most of the compensation has come from my years as a newspaper reporter and journalist and then as an author of books in multiple genres.
And the answer to today’s question is a great big resounding YES! I love my job as a writer, and I have loved virtually every aspect of it — even when the assignments were difficult. When I was doing newspaper work, I got to meet and get to know so many very interesting — and most of the time enjoyable — people. I got to become a part of their lives for a while, and it connected me in a way that was unique. I also loved doing any research that was involved and getting down to the details and the nitty-gritty of a story.
In my non-fiction books, which are usually Christian ministry oriented, I have the opportunity to take information and revelation from God’s Word and share it with thousands of other people, who hopefully find help, encouragement, enlightenment, comfort, challenge, or just plain enjoyment in it. It’s extremely satisfying to know that perhaps I’ve been able to add something positive to someone else’s life by the work that I’ve done in those books. Then I’ve also had the joy of developing a creative writing curriculum as well. And over the years, I’ve used that to teach writing classes of all kinds at a local college, as well as online from time to time.
In my fiction, most of which is also Christian based, my goal has been primarily to help people know that God really is interested in each one of us personally and that He wants to be active in our every-day lives with His love and mercy. When a reader responds to those stories in the way I hoped they would — or when they tell me that something the characters experienced really helped them in their own lives — it makes all the hours and months and years of laboring to get those words onto paper and into the readers’ hands totally worthwhile.
And I also have the joy of creating a whole world full of people — and of constructing their lives. I can determine who they are, what they like, what they want, what they do about it, and what happens as a result. There are a lot of things in my own life — and in this messed up world — that I cannot control. But when I sit down to my computer keyboard and type those manuscripts, I am in control! It’s a great feeling.
I love writing the poetry as well. It affects me differently from the other types of writing, of course. Each area of the writing job requires a different kind of focus and application of skills and has it’s own effects on me as a result. But poetry has been a very special emotional help for me. About five years ago, I lost my very best friend of many years. Not only was he my soul-mate in so many ways, but he was also the very best editor I have ever worked with. It’s interesting, because he was not an editor by vocation. He was actually an attorney. But all of his life he had read voraciously and eclectically, and he just had this innate ability to see what was right and what was wrong with a written work. He often helped me by being my hardest critic, but he always had my back and always provided help when something really did need to be re-worked. He was also a storehouse of genius ideas.
When he was killed in a tragic accident, I was so hurt and suffered so much from the loss that I could not write books or articles of any kind for well over a year. But during that time I was able to write poetry almost every day. And writing those poems was healing for me. So during that year or two, I didn’t see writing poetry as part of a job. It was simply a source of comfort and restoration for my soul, and I was very grateful for the ability to write so prolifically in that genre.
So, as I consider the question of today’s prompt, I have to say that, not only do I enjoy my job as a writer, but I am very grateful for it in so many ways. I enjoy all of my other jobs as well, but even if I did not have the other jobs, I would feel quite satisfied for life with being a writer.