I was about 35 years old when I made application for admission to a Master’s Degree program. I remember the last item on the page said, “Turn this paper over and write a paragraph about yourself.” Grammar I loved; composition I hated! Looking back I doubt that my paragraph was any more exciting than, “See Dick run. See Jane run. Dick and Jane can run.” In spite of that I was accepted into a program. I had a choice between two programs—one which included less class hours with a manuscript, or one with more hours and no manuscript. I gratefully chose the one without the manuscript! I became a Reading Specialist; teaching reading was my career and I had little need or opportunity to write for several years.
At about fifty years of age, I held the position of Sunday School Superintendent in my church. It was a period of time when many churches were dropping their Sunday morning education classes. Sunday Schools were on the decline. One Sunday afternoon I sat down and wrote an article called, “My Case for Sunday School.” It was about a thousand words – every one of which rolled along with amazing ease. It was printed in one of our church magazines. A while later another denomination asked for permission to print it in their magazine. How satisfying!
A quote attributed to Plato says: “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools speak because the have to say something.” This quotation was passed to me from my daddy whose words were “like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” I do sometimes blather, but generally I write because words convey messages I want to pass to others – some informative, some humorous, some persuasive, and-dare I be so bold-some wise.
So what was the difference in the two “writing” events presented at the first of this post? In the first one, I had to write something; in the second one, I had something to write. It is satisfying when my desire to say something lands on listeners’ ears; it is also satisfying when my desire to write something lands in readers’ hands.
Prompt, Writing101, Daily Post “I Write Because—”