A lot of writers claim they have been writing, and/or reading, since early on. Often spinning tales of stealing away to read with a flashlight under their sheets at night when they should have been sleeping. Well, I was sleeping. Really, Mom, I was.
Or, they write in tortured tones about their writing being driven by inner demons—alcohol, lack of self-worth, inner pain they turned toward creativity, that kind of thing.
And, I could write a similar story—wouldn’t be true, but I could write it. See, I could always write anything. With the notable exception of one paper in college (which I double-flunked—true!), I don’t think I ever wrote a paper on anything that got less than an “A.” But, even still, I never considered writing as something to do unless it was for a class. I never engaged in writing for the fun of it or for a living until God flung open a door that He has yet to close.
The reason I started writing is far more prosaic. As a young husband and father, I worked in the research library of The Indianapolis Star & The Indianapolis News newspapers. The food writer for The News came into the library one day and, being an aggravator and an instigator, I asked her why she always had women writing the food stories – when many men, including me, could cook just as well. The gauntlet was thrown – and now I had to deliver.
"Well,” she said. “I have an opening, actually, for the Saturday before the Super Bowl. Are you a sports fan?”
“Of course,” I lied. “Why?”
“Would you like to submit a story for publication, along with 3-4 recipes? The theme is, of course, Super Bowl food…easy-to-prepare, easy-to-eat, guy-food type stuff. Oh, I’ll need it in a month. Thanks!”
Just like that I became a writer – and with that one story I was sucked into it and I never turned back (thank you to Marge Hanley for being used by God—even if she didn’t know it!). They paid me to write. That’s when I found that I liked it.
For 14 odd years (and they were often odd) I worked for the Indianapolis papers, writing my way into full time reporting from the obituary desk, where the only things that counted were speed and accuracy. Those two are still really important to me.
I now am an editor for MMA, a stewardship solutions company in Goshen, Ind., and I write and edit numerous newsletters, brochures, and other business paraphernalia. But, for fun, I am writing a novel on one of my undying themes: Love and Marriage. (See the prologue.)
Oh, remember all those writers who are driven by inner demons? I am driven by an Inner Being—but He’s no demon. He’s the Son of the living God and the Savior of the world. His name is Jesus Christ. I hope you see Him reflected in my writing. If not, let me know (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).