Reflection by Mary E. Latela. Thanks to Jeff Goins for the seeds for this essay.
I just read Jeff Goins in-your-face, honest essay about why so few people make it as a writer. Jeff, I look at this a little differently. I am a writer. I have been a writer for many decades (no need to add that up!), and I love it.
First, I have stories to tell. No, not the fairy tale ending stories we heard as kids where everyone lives happily every after. I mean I really pay attention to life and how people are affected by what come to them in this life.
I call writing my vocation, but it’s not as concrete as you might say. I putzed around for some time, writing whatever came to mind, moving from genre to genre, until one day -. and this is sort of mystical – I had a realization. I also am passionate about helping other people. I do this rather quietly, but I believe that God wants me to use my gifts in service to God and to other people. My children were young, then, so I could have postponed. I did not. I did lots of reading, reflecting, joined a Bible study group – which was a good fit for me – but I wouldn’t tell anyone how to find and build their resources.
And not the next day … perhaps five years later, my first book was published and it was helpful to some other people and I earned a little bit of money. The kids? = they played as usual – with one difference. I had to first explain what work is, because they thought what I did all day was to play with them. My daughter told me she wanted to be just like me when she grew up – because then she could play all day forever. Brilliant concept!
I put our card table in the center of the living room and announced, “This is my work table.”.” WOW! My Mommy has a work table!”
I was not very decisive when I was younger so it’s kind of amazing that every morningwhen I got out of bed, I would picture/imagine a book with my name on the cover. And I worked and worked, and one day I received an envelope with a most previous message. Liguori Publications was going to print my first book, Moments for Mothers.My reation was not to act like the cool professional who keeps her dignity at moments like this – I kept repeating – They want my book. They want my book. They want my book.”.
Giving up was not an option, though I’ll tell you sometime how I managed to write without being “found out.”
I would never say that anyone was “doomed to failure.” because I was able to erase, delete, obliterate, my poor self-esteem. All I can promise is: that you may be a writer, if writing keeps you warm in the winter, and cool in the hotsummer. AND if you keep plugging away no matter what…
AND if you know that you are a success – from the day you begin to figure out, hone in, pinpoint – what you really need to do.
I need to write. I write. I hope that my writing has improved over the years, and I hope that one or two people may have found some hope in what I write… but these are not computer determined.