People like to argue. About almost everything. I’m not so good at arguing, and I really hate confrontation. Which, of course, has gotten me into lots of uncomfortable situations over the years. But I digress . . . . one time when I was just finishing up an undergraduate degree in Classical Studies and Philosophy, I was approached by a seminary professor who inquired about my plans after graduation. He suggested that I might consider the seminary that was just across the pond from the main campus, especially because it always is a good thing to have a few
token women students in a conservative, Christian institution.
I felt a bit emboldened by the fact that he and I were approximately the same age, so I just smiled sweetly and replied, “Well, since I’ve never met a seminarian that I like, I really don’t think I would like to be one.” He laughed. But he was kind and we chatted for a while, and the conversation concluded quite amiably, with me going on my way to a regular ol’ public university for my next adventure in academia.
Recently, while preparing to teach a writing class at yet another Christian university, I came across some interesting ideas on the topic of writing in the academic or professional world. And, because I have chosen a different path for my career / life focus than either pure academia or the professional world, these ideas were quite intriguing to me. Perhaps my writing has been annoyingly uninteresting for the past many years, or perhaps I just have an innate ability to write amazingly eloquent stuff – but I had never thought about writing in such a formulaic way before. I kind of just write what God puts in my heart and mind to say, and . . . . there you have it!
And fortunately for me, I’ve had a bit of success with my writing. My ebook patterns and tutorials have sold to a whole bunch of moms and grandmas who were wanting to create fun and whimsical clothing for their babies and grand babies, or who wanted to create a fun craft project for themselves or to give as gifts. The Ruby for Women magazine (which, of course, I don not actually write all the articles in every issue, but apparently I am doing something right) has been in publication for over four years and is read by thousands of women (and a few men) from several countries around the world.
Nope, I haven’t written a book – yet! But that’s mostly because I’ve been editing, publishing, and promoting the writing of others who also have a story in their hearts. One day I will take a break from that project and write my own story – or stories – whatever God gives me.
But I digress . . . . one of the ideas that I found fascinating in this writing text book suggests that when we write it is important to “enter a conversation.” Well, silly me, I thought that’s what I had been doing all these years! Maybe I was and didn’t really think about writing in any other way. I guess that just because something is obvious to me, doesn’t mean it is all that obvious (or interesting) to other people.
So, that’s when I thought about HOW one writes, and if I should always start out by stating what my “argument” is with others who have already started a conversation on any given topic. Can I start the conversation? Or must I always be responding to the ideas of others? That’s a good thing to do, too, but sometimes I think that we (you and me!) can start the conversation and it doesn’t have to be about anything controversial. It can just be about whatever is in your heart to say. We will say it (write it) with grace, humility, dignity, kindness, wisdom, and a bit of humor . . . . but whatever is in your heart, whatever you story, just write it! Please. But I digress . . . . but really, who cares, anyway? Just checking . . . .
PS There was a typo on the second page of that writing book!