Wednesday, April 10, 2013

You Should Write

The three little words in this blog title perfectly sum up the start to my writing career. I was in college and had just turned in yet another research paper. I did my best work on the paper, turned it in on time and sighed with relief as I went on to my next class. I had no idea that the paper I'd just finished would change my life.

Upon getting the graded paper back from my professor, I noted that he'd written a note at the top. It said, "Reading your writing is just like talking to you. You should write." The words were simple, their impact far-reaching. Three little words. I took them to heart for a number of reasons.

First of all, I was not used to hearing positive feedback or any sort of compliment. Being raised in an abusive situation didn't lend itself to my siblings and I being built up in any way. I simply had never heard much positive reinforcement in my life, thus it was incredibly pleasant.

Secondly, the professor was a professional, giving his words more weight in my life. Had I gotten the same compliment from an acquaintance or friend, I might have thought they were just being nice to me. The professor didn't have to be nice in that way; he could be, and was, totally objective.

Third, I had gotten a A on the paper. Because I was in Bible college with little history of ever going to church or even reading the Bible, I was struggling academically for the first time in my life. I'd breezed through high school. This was like learning a new language while learning facts in that language. I was overwhelmed, then got that A, which boosted my confidence.  An A on something I'd written was like a mega-horn shouting, "WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!"

A few years later, I started writing for Regular Baptist Press on a fairly regular basis.
A few years after that, I started getting published in other places, Family Circle magazine to name one.
A few yeas later, I wrote my first book, Victory Over Violence.
A few years later, I started teaching writing on a formal basis and saw success in the success of my students, one of which was Amanda Hocking.

Three little words that I have never forgotten. "You Should Write" Thank you, Professor Glen Crabb. You impacted a young student in a deep and very positive way.

Writers, realize the impact of your words.
Choose them carefully.
Tell the truth.


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