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—”

About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
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  1. Well said, Oneta! Words are so powerful. 😉

    • oneta hayes says:

      Rebecca, thank you for reading and responding. I found e-mail Part 2 and Part 3, but I’m so far behind I haven’t responded until I can find Part 1. I want to read them in order. I’ll find it soon. (I’ve been days out because of a great-granddaughter who is hospitalized, diagnosed with CF. I’m going home tomorrow at least for a few days.)

  2. Vibrant says:

    ““Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools speak because the have to say something.””

    A typo: ‘the’ in the second half.

    What a beautiful quote it is. I had read it and forgotten in time.

    This is a very engaging account of your literary pursuits, Oneta.

    I wish you very best.

    Anand 🙂

    • oneta hayes says:

      Anand, it seems that it doesn’t make any difference how many times I proofread, I always have a goof up! So glad to bring this quote back to your remembrance. I’ll watch to see it appear in your blog soon. A quote, like a new word, needs to be used to find it’s special spot in one’s memory bank. Thanks, as always, for your kind and special response.

      • Vibrant says:

        No, it’s alright, we all do mistakes. Yes, I would keep looking for an excuse to use this marvellous quote soon. Best Wishes 🙂 Anand

  3. shoreacres says:

    Your comments remind me of a tagline on the blog of a young woman whose blog I followed for several years. She’s gone on to other things, but I still this this is the best ever: “If I don’t have something to say, I won’t say it.” I’d go on to add, “and if I do have something to say, I’ll try to say it to the best of my ability.”

    That doesn’t necessarily mean sober-and-serious is the only way, of course. There’s room for humor, tongue-in-cheek or otherwise. And sometimes tentative is as good as a firm conclusion. But if it’s fun, and it’s pleasing us — we’ll find our way.

    • oneta hayes says:

      shoreacres, my definition of “having something to say” does not mean it will be sober-and-serious. It is a delight to know many people who can say worthy things in humorous, tongue-in-cheek, delightful ways. I think of Will Rogers as one. I love his wit and wisdom. And, my friend, you are another. Wonderful content presented in intriguing and compassionate style – a master of words, ideas, and common sense.

  4. judyjourneys says:

    Interestingly, we have similar experiences. I was in my late thirties when I began my master’s work. I also opted not to do a thesis. Also, for the bulk of fifty years, I taught Sunday school, mostly to adult women. I love teaching the Bible. To me it is alive and relevant, and that is what I wanted my students to believe and experience. As an aside, I fulfilled a dream since I was an eleven-year-old in Vacation Bible School and purchased a large flannelboard with felt Bible characters. At times I used that at the children’s moment in the worship service as well as in Vacation Bible School. There were occasions when it fit in with an adult lesson, and I can say that the women loved it!

  5. Faye says:

    Well expressed. How similar in life our journeys have been. That’s why I try to make my blog a simply morning comment so I can have time to enjoy the contributions of others. The teaching of children. RI classes for me. Journalism. short stories then the truth of life’s struggles….. Dear one your journey is fascinating – keep writing! Let it flow. Wise or foolish…. writing is a gift. If you acknowledge a Higher source then the possibilities to express life in Him have no boundaries.

  6. YvoCaro says:

    It is indeed satisfying to hear that your words, written down with care and feeling, land on someones ears and they actually like it. Never ceases to amaze me!

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