There my story appeared in a beautiful two-page layout. Nostalgia had led me to record a lesson-learned fishing as a teenager. Then Kit secretly submitted the story to some magazines. Arkansas Wildlife published the article with pictures of my fish. What a thrill to think that others would enjoy my story and perhaps benefit from the wholesome message.
At the time, I was searching for a retirement activity. Why not writing? I asked myself. I love telling stories. How hard can writing be? Plenty hard, it turns out. Of the 320 million people in America, roughly 100 million are trying to be writers. Probably less Americans read seriously. Christian writers are perhaps the most prolific. Every seminary professor, Bible teacher, pastor, counselor, and plenty of us untutored laymen are hoping to enlighten others with our insights.
Therefore, competition is tough, especially from professional writers. Many of them have degrees in composition and the unfair advantage of ability. They have a strong hunger to succeed. Some are literally hungry. Blogs could be the answer for us amateurs, unless you expect readers. My first year blogging I eventually accumulated seven followers. And only four of my followers were family.
“True writers do so for themselves, whether anybody reads their work or not,” say veteran and mostly unpublished authors. By that criterion, I should devote myself to eating and sleeping. Watching football is another talent of mine, unless I eat and fall asleep first.
Kit is a great encourager for me in all things, especially character. Sometimes when I’m discouraged, I answer her, “I’m a better man than I want to be.” Her response, “That’s what living the Christian life is about.” Isn’t that wise? God can make us into something better than we are, maybe even me into an author. And finally, I have discovered a new audience. I enjoy re-reading my own stories the same way you might enjoy a photo album. Maybe there’s a little “true writer” in me after all.