I enjoy writing almost as much as I do taking photos.
There’s something about doing an interview and taking notes then sitting down at the computer and trying to read my scribbles and craft a story from the mess.
For instance, when taking notes and someone says with effort or some other word using with, I write w/… in my notes.
I have somehow created my own version of shorthand. I sometimes can’t read what I wrote and I have to reach out to the person I interviewed to help me understand my notes.
Most people I interview talk much faster than I can take notes. I often have to ask them to repeat a sentence or I just write down what I hear the best I can and ask questions later.
I think my writing has improved greatly in recent years and I give the credit to my wife, Debbie. She has taught me a lot about the use of the comma, sentence structure and making my words flow.
She’s a great writer and most who have followed me through the years know she has two published novels, “The Auctioneer,” and “Moving On” in the Hope Series. The novels center around the good folks of the fictional town of Hope, Iowa.
She’s written books three, four and five in the series, all of which need to be edited and have a cover created. And she is working on book six. Our goal is to have book three out this year with books four and five to follow in 2023. There is a lot to be done in short amount of time.
We are about three months out from Christmas, if you can believe that.
I always enjoy listing to Debbie tell the stories in her books. I am amazed at how she keeps track of it all and can come up with the story lines. She credits it to the characters. It’s their story and they are more than happy to have Debbie writing it down for others to enjoy.
My tip for any writer or inspiring author – find a good editor.
Having barely survived high school English, I often struggled piecing together a story or writing a simple essay. My spelling was awful and didn’t know the first thing about sentence structure. Sometimes I wonder how I passed English.
For me to go back to college in my early 30s and get into one of the top journalism programs in the world at the University of Missouri-Columbia is a miracle itself.
I had to pass an 100 question grammar test to get into the school. I failed it twice before passing with an 82 on my third attempt. I needed an 80 and I got it.
I remember the day well. It was Sept. 26, 1995 - my 36th birthday. I was outside with the other journalism students awaiting their future. Some were complaining about taking the test in the first place.
I had been studying and getting tutoring and I was ready to go and I didn’t need any distractions.
I decided to find a quit place in another part of the building away from the noise. Sometimes in life to get ahead, you have to get away from all the noise. The television news and the internet are filled with lots of noise and distractions.
I ended up down the hall from the testing center and outside on a sidewalk leading up to the building. It was there that I started praying. I put it this way, I didn’t ask God about getting into the journalism school, I told God that I was going to get into the journalism school and I did.
I have failed many tests in life and school. Success is never easy and sometimes doing the right thing isn’t as well. If you fail at something, that doesn’t make you a failure. The failure comes when you give up.
If I have a tough day at work or struggle with a life challenge, I often remind myself of the journey I have been on and that all things are possible.
Have a great week and always remember that “Good Things are Happening,” every day and always.
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