Today is a culmination of everything that has occurred in my life for the last 13 years. In a sense it is graduation day. It is the day that I am finally sure of who I am and what I am here to do. The fact that today is also Valentine's Day has very little to do with it. Although both have everything to do with the heart.
I have been doing freelance writing since 2000. It began with going around town and interviewing people I knew. At the time I had no idea what I was supposed to do with the one page life stories I was writing, but I followed my intuition and my heart and kept writing anyway. Then one day someone I barley knew noticed what I was doing and gave me an opportunity I could not pass up to write a newspaper column. I still remember that day sitting in the little office of the Cibola County Beacon, as if it just happened. It makes me laugh to remember that I did not hesitate for even a second. If I had, the last 13 years would no doubt have been completely different.
I guess I must have paid attention in my high school English classes because I have always had a love affair with words. It grates on my nerves to witness people misusing the gift of writing. Everyone has their own style and that is understandable, but a writer who does not make every effort to express their self as clearly as possible is inexcusable as far as I am concerned.
The more I wrote the more I loved what I was doing. Over the years writing has led me to research subjects that I may not have otherwise been interested in. It has taken the place of the college education that I was not given the opportunity to have. It has been a friend on lonely days and given me a tool to dig into my own past and discover what makes me tick and what keeps me from ticking at optimum strength.
Although I have written two newspaper columns and have published books, this blog is my most rewarding experience. It is the place where I share what is in my heart. Honestly sharing everyday experiences others can relate to gets attention. In looking over my own shoulder I have noticed that my posts have recently taken on a new look. There is something different about them. I know it is because a very determined spirit took me under his wing and gradually taught me, with much resistance on my part, how to make what I was writing softer and more palatable.
There are other things that have recently been pointed out to me that have also helped along that line of thinking. Questions to consider include: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? Is it respectful? And another very good rule of thumb is to remember to always be flexible. It is possible to change my mind even after something has been published when new information makes itself available. I try to admit my mistake and reword what I have said. I have never intentionally written to hurt anyone. Someone once said a good writer edits until the last possible moment. This is true true true!
In a recent conversation regarding my writing the person I was talking to suggested that I should be paid for what I am doing. My answer was that is not why I write. I write because it is the universal gift I have been given to help others believe in who they are. Money does not even enter into the equation. Universal gifts of this quality are not meant to keep. They are meant to be shared with others by any means possible.
Because I feel I have graduated and now know who I am and what I am supposed to be doing I ordered brand new business cards. I think they look pretty nice. What do you think?