Sunday, January 9, 2011

What's your calling for the year ahead?


 
             By Judy Christie, author of the Green series, including "Goodness Gracious Green" and the upcoming "Glory of Green"

           A year or so ago a wonderful book club invited me to visit.
          Eating snacks in a cozy living room, the conversation centered on two of my favorite topics – reading and writing.
            “I couldn’t write a book in a million years,” one avid reader said.
            “Oh, sure you could,” I proclaimed, placing my chips and dip aside, clearly indicating the seriousness of the topic. “Anyone can write a book.”
            I got wound up, as I have been known to do, about putting words on paper. I told her about keeping a notebook with me at all times, writing in a journal since I was nine, and the story ideas floating through my mind most of the time.
            She looked at me and shook her head, whether in pity or admiration I wasn’t sure. “Most people’s brains don’t work like that,” she said.
That was that.
I am a word nerd.
Apparently everyone doesn’t walk around dreaming up “what if” scenarios or imagining how an overheard conversation sounds as dialogue. Many don’t wake up eager to write in their journals while their brains are fresh or ready to get in a word quota for the day. Lots of people never scribble long letters to friends detailing, with hopeful humor, the intricacies of daily life.
 Some of us do.
Either way, it seems to me, is just fine, as long as you are doing something you enjoy, something you feel called to do.
I have a hunch that most people have words within them. Words waiting to get out in some form or fashion, whether the person considers himself or herself a writer or not. We are, I believe, the stories we tell.
 But, as that reader in the North Louisiana living room reminded me, writing books isn’t an assignment to be endured. It’s a gift.
Perhaps your brain works like that. Maybe not.
Whatever is there within you, don't squander it.
Roll it out, and see what happens.
                                                             ---
During the last week of 2010, I stumbled upon an excellent small book that I recommend as you consider who and what you want to be in the year ahead, whether writer or something altogether different.
“The Echo Within,” by Robert Benson, subtitled “Finding Your True Calling,” is beautifully written and discusses how each of us is called to do and be certain things.
For me, writing is part of my call, of trying to be more of the person I was created to be.
            How about you?

About the author:
            Judy Christie is a writer, which still thrills her. At the moment, she is jumping up and down with excitement about spending time with readers and writers at the upcoming Pulpwood Queens Girlfriends Weekend in Jefferson, Texas. Judy is the author of the Green series, with "The Glory of Green" coming March 1, and the nonfiction “Hurry Less Worry Less” series, including “Hurry Less Worry Less at Work.” For more info, take a look at www.judychristie.com.

6 comments:

Kathy L. Patrick said...

Great blog Judy. I found out the same thing when I was commisserating on why I could not get my book club members to all read the book of the month. My husband told me, "Kathy, not everybody is as passionate and gungho as you are on reading. Be happy they are reading and let it go."
We all think everybody should think the way we think when we are passionate about something. Whether reading, writing, or underwater basket weaving. Your blog was a great reminder for me to keep it real. Be considerate of others and what they are passionate about. But knowing you and me Judy, we will keep on keeping on, on our writing and reading! Great blog!

Heidiopia said...

I think you are so right, Judy, that we all have words within...to tap into them, draw them out, expand upon them, however, IS a gift. I love that my mind "works like that," even though I have no idea where it may take me. :)

Anonymous said...

No, not everyone can write a book. And not everyone should attempt to do so.

Darla M. McCorkle said...

Great blog, Judy! I think everyone should write. I don't necessarily think everyone should write a book. But I like the idea of ppl getting stuff down. I have some journals I picked up at an estate sale that are incredible. Not b/c of great writing -- in fact is is mostly magazine clippings and a teens thoughts out to the side-- but it is so fun to flip through!!

What's Your Calling said...

Hi Judy, I'm managing a project called "What's Your Calling," which is associated with a film that just aired on PBS, "The Calling." Your blog popped up in our google alerts, so I thought you might find our site interesting. We're exploring notions of "calling" from both religious and secular perspectives, or what people feel most passionate about doing with their lives - and why. If you have a moment to check it out, I hope you enjoy it. Our website is http://whatsyourcalling.org. Thank you! Erin

Robert Benson said...

JUDY —

Thank you much for taking the time to read IN CONSTANT PRAYER in the first place, for saying kind things about what you read, and for sharing it with your friends. I am honored, humbled and grateful.

I am especially grateful my work has been noticed by a teller of stories.

Be in touch.

Namaste —
Robert Benson
thelongpew.com