It might be obvious that I like to read and I suspect not many people have a passion to write without first developing the passion to read. I’ve always enjoyed getting to know or find out about the person who’s writing I’m reading and it doesn’t matter if it’s fiction or non-fiction.
You can tell a lot about a person by how they write. A writer’s voice. Although I knew that to be true, I never knew exactly how perfectly true it was until last Thursday night.
For the last couple of years, the church bulletin had a “creative writers class” announcement under the Calendar Of Events heading. I’ve been either out of town, busy or trying to be, so as to have and excuse for not attending.
To walk into a group of strangers and announce “I’m a writer, or at least I want to be someday…..When I grow up,” isn’t on the top of my list of fun dates. It almost makes me feel like when I was a kid being sent to a new school or church.
Oh no, I call the shots now… Well, maybe not exactly. I was beat, tired and had to get up early the next day and didn’t even have time for a shower between work and the group. My wife had made a special dinner, but I knew I was running low on excuses.
“That writers group is meeting at the church tonight,” I mentioned quietly to my wife. I thought there was a chance she might give me an out since the dinner and all. She quickly answered, “You should go.” One more excuse I couldn’t use.
I called one of the leaders of the group and asked, “Can you tell me a little bit more about the group”? She kindly gave an explanation. “How many people usually show up for this”? I asked, hoping for a large number to use as another potential excuse. “I don’t think we’ve ever had more than eight,” she replied. I gave it one last shot, “Can I show up in gym clothes”? She warmly answered, “Sure that’s not a problem,” or something to that effect. She added, “If you want to bring something you’ve written that would be fine.”
I grabbed my manuscript minus the first three chapters I sent to the last agent, my water, and some non-fat string cheese sticks from the frig and out the door I went. I walked in late after having to call one of the ladies running the group because I couldn’t find the right room.
Everyone was polite, friendly, and I was surprised how many in the group had been published. Two of the ladies are actually in the business. The truth is I went to learn and that’s exactly what happened. I learned some details about the industry and how it works, then when it came time to listen to what some of the other participants had written, I was blown away.
The talent was amazing and enjoyable, but even beyond that I was struck by how the writing was exactly who the authors were. The first hour and a half was spent talking and sharing thoughts and ideas. From that interaction time, I learned a lot about the people and more specifically their personalities.
The words of each person’s writings fit perfectly with their personality. Our written words are like our voices, they might be similar, but they are distinctly unique to each of us.
How fitting it is, our words even not heard audibly are unique like our voices. Designed by God and are the same in speech or writing, each with a specific purpose and desire. Without exception, everyone in that room has a desire given by God deep down to make a difference in this world.
Although no one asked what the desire was for each of us or what we hoped to achieve with our writing, it was pretty clear as I listened to the different personalities pour out in words. Some of the desires were to bring joy, purpose, laughter, companionship, inspiration, and encouragement.
My hat’s off to those writers whom God gave the desire to make a difference in this world, and they’re doing it. Talk is cheap, so is writing if the words don’t have a specific purpose.
However we’re heard, in speech or print, our voice is designed to make a difference, to fulfill our unique purpose for having been here…
What are you saying with your voice?