“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” ~Ernest Hemingway
Imagination budded as a child and written expression gave it wing to soar. I learned the comfort of words and the ecstasy of a reader’s admiration. Literary growth stalled in my youth as creativity succumbed to academic necessity. What began as an extension of myself muddled into stifling limitation, graded boxes that confined imagination. I place no blame for this on my teachers or curriculum, realizing the responsibility rests squarely on my shoulders. In college, I found new pleasure in research and academic writing that in turn prepared me for fulfillment through sermon preparation. I rarely read from a manuscript when preaching, but preparation for oral expression comes primarily through written construction. Words are life.
In the late afternoon of life, I am discovering writing as calling; or perhaps I should say that writing is uncovering me. Instead of sudden insight, self-awareness more naturally unfolds like a quilt removed from cedar chest storage and unfurled into winter service. Personal exploration may be excruciating, but it is necessary preparation for higher expression. All that is to say that I write these days with hope that my words shaped by moral and spiritual underpinnings will linger long after I’m gone. Find what it is that allows you to most fully be yourself, and express it in such a way that others may be altered by it. What we do in life should grow beyond our death. Each of us is called to outlive ourselves.