To become a writer . . .

To become a writer, you must write
by Liz Thompson
Published June 30 and July 20, 2011
Suburban News Publications

So you want to write? Grab a pad of paper and pen and go at it. Don’t worry about what you say or if you’ll ever be published. Just write. Write what you know and from the heart. Each person has a unique perspective and maybe someday yours will see the light of day in print, maybe not.

If your aspiration is only to become famous and wealthy, you might want to rethink your goals. As with most art, you must love it.

Most writers I know have a need to write. One such friend said it well– “Ideas circle around my head almost continually like airplanes circling an airport waiting for clearance to land.” Once the idea lands, it’s time to go to work.

Next I advise you to read—classics, fiction, non-fiction, newspapers, magazines and even children’s books.

My 12-year old granddaughter is a budding writer. She writes poetry, stories and is working on a Christian fiction book. She will surpass me with her writing and I will continue to cheer her on.

While reading some of her work, I enjoyed her beautiful imagery and wording that smacked of the classics. “I wish people still talked like that,” she said.

“How did you learn to use this style of wording?” I asked her. My daughter home schools her children and I know they have read classics and a wide scope of material since a young age.

Her response to me was, “Read Ivanhoe, Nana. It takes awhile to get through, but it’s worth it.” When a 12-year old tells me to read Ivanhoe, I head to the library.

Since before I was my granddaughter’s age, I knew I wanted to be a writer. How that dream would be realized was a mystery to me; one that seemed elusive.

My dream was put on hold for years as I raised a family, worked at various jobs while dabbling in poetry and writing music and lyrics. Little did I know that losing my hearing would bring me one step closer to realizing my dream. Being gregarious, I had to find a way to express myself other than music and voice. I found it through using my hands.

Yes, I learned sign language but I’m talking about using my hands to talk through writing. When Suburban News Publications published my first column in January 1998, my learning curve swelled. Through his editing, then Commentary Editor Cliff Wiltshire taught me how to send my message in 800 words or less.

Now it’s more like 500 words or less because of newspapers downsizing but I have the basics. Next I became a reporter at SNP and editor Marty Rozenman was my teacher, along with each editor for my current news beat.

Seeing my byline is a private thrill, true, but in time the message superseded the need to be published. My desire to learn and improve is constant. I read continually, watching other writing styles, including my granddaughter’s.

Now working on my third book, I thank God for bringing me the long way around to realizing my dream. That way I have my priorities straight knowing who to thank.


Ashamed of me?

Many of us have received the email asking if we are ashamed of Jesus. If we delete the email and don’t pass it on — or something like that — we must be ashamed of Jesus. Well, this type of email really bugs me. I’m not ashamed of Jesus or my love for him or his sovereignty in my life but I don’t think an email tells that to the world — I think it’s how I play out my faith every minute of every day.

Today in worship we sang a hymn I had not heard before. Even with my cochlear implants, music pitches are somewhat elusive. If I don’t know the song, I sing quietly the best I can.

The last words in the last verse struck me hard, but in a good way. It said, “I hope Jesus is not ashamed of me.”

I’m not worried about deleting an email but I would worry if Jesus would look at me with sorrow. I don’t want him to be ashamed of me. I know he forgives me day after day but I pray every day that I won’t keep him too busy in that department.


Cleaning windows and pulling weeds

Cleaning windows is tedious work, true, but the results make for clear views to the outside. Ohio has had it’s share of rain this year, along with many parts of the U.S. So we have a lot of green to enjoy through our now clean windows.

Because of the rain, we also have our share of weeds in our yard and garden. Years ago I wrote a column about taking time to pull the weeds from our soul and to make time to enjoy the beauty in life. If we are choked with weeds — sin and sometimes too much busyness — we won’t flourish and grow. The same goes for our flowers, grass and vegetable gardens. Weeds choke the life out of them. So out they must go.

While wiping the dirt off the windows, inside and out and in the runner part where the windows slide open and shut, I found dead spiders and flys. Yuck is a good word for this type of work.

Yet so necessary.

It’s hard not to draw analogies. We must keep our vision clear so the yucky stuff in life doesn’t take the lead. Our focus must be on God and what he wants us to do with this life he gave us.

We all have detours and I’ve had my share. But with every twist and turn, I learned what is important. I’m still at it and hope to learn till my last breath.

So today, take a moment and think about what you find important in your life, what you can change to make better and how you can be a blessing to someone.

Even if it’s as small as cleaning a window or pulling a weed. Less clutter, more beauty.

The photo at the top of my website is a sparrow photo one of my grandsons took for me. Jacob is quite the photographer but more than that, he has a good eye.