Today's guest post is by Tim Glore. During his senior year in high school, he took on his first writing assignments as a reporter for his high school newspaper, “The Liberator.” Tim realized he loved writing when he couldn’t wait for the next journalism class. He wanted to become a writer. But, with five months left in the school year, his father died suddenly. Tim was left to run the family business, and his passion for writing was postponed 35 years. Now he hones his writing skills by taking online workshops and writing mainly for his family. He believes it’s never too late.
I’ve just finished a Writer's Digest online workshop called “Getting Started in Writing.” During this workshop and throughout my quest to learn the craft of writing, one question came to mind repeatedly: Why write?
A little over a year ago, I gave myself permission to write. A strange statement I suppose, but true nonetheless. For me there is a feeling of vulnerability or nakedness in writing. I can’t hide what I know, or who I am in my writing. The reader always sees the truth. So I ask myself, why write?
Learning is one reason. So I began reading about writing. Looking at the books I have read on the bookshelf above my desk, I count fourteen about writing alone. But reading about writing is not enough to make me a good writer. One of the many things I've learned about writing is how much I need to learn.
Another reason I write is that it gives me the ability to express myself in a manner that is less likely to be misunderstood. You know how a person can tell what people are thinking, by the look on
their faces? I don’t have that look. I have been misunderstood on many occasions because I have a look about me that is difficult to read. So I like to write.
One motivation that is not at the top of my list is money. If I were writing for a living, I would be starving to death.
When I was growing up, I would marvel at how my father could sit in the living room on any given Sunday morning and begin reading a book, and before bed he would have finished the entire book. He would read for the relaxation of it, he told me. He would say, “Learn to read well, it’s the foundation to learning everything.”
Just recently I discovered that while he was in the Navy, he was a writer and editor for a naval base newspaper called “The Hour Glass” on Kwajalein Island, in the South Pacific. While reading through copies my mother kept, I was thrilled to read several articles bearing my father’s name. I would like to share this one with you.
The Hour Glass Editorial
(April 14, 1946)
The simple things of life were created to confound the wise. God created the blade of grass and man created the atom bomb. How widely these two creations differ is unbelievable. Yet the varying amount of significance man attaches to each and the converse manner of doing so is still more unbelievable.
Since the beginning of time man has searched in laboratories for a means of turning inferior metals to gold. At last he has discovered the secret and in so doing has unleashed atomic energy. Yet for all man’s great progress in the laboratories not one man or group of men has ever succeeded in making a blade of grass.
My father died in 1974. It is my hope to write words that can also be read long after I’m gone and still hold true. It’s motivation enough for me. It’s why I write.
To the people who participated with me in the workshop: I have really enjoyed your work and apologize for not giving as much feedback as you have given me. The reason is simple: I don’t feel qualified to critique someone else’s work when I struggle so with my own.
I do sincerely hope that all of you are successful in your writing.