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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Fulfillment (04/06/06)

TITLE: The Most Fulfilling Craft
By Carol Dee Meeks
04/09/06


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My boys find it difficult to believe I can remember the day I took the high school ACT test. (After all, they think I visited El Paso, Texas, in the “horse and buggy days”). I remember well the results of that test. My English instructor told me I had a novel in my future. I laughed it off and tucked it away for years. The yearning to write a novel was real but would also be suppressed.

After college, I married, and children came along. (Visiting the “horse and buggy city” took up hours of my days. And yes, it took time to harness a horse and get the buggy ready, and then the time to travel was tremendous). After they graduated from high school, I had to find another job to help keep them in college. There was always an excuse to not write, and I kept tucking the desire away.

Several years before my husband and I decided to retire, my morning devotion took me to Ezekiel. In Ezekiel 12:23, I read, “The days draw near as well as the fulfillment of every vision.” This was like a slap in the face. This was like someone poured ice water over my head. This was like lightning struck. I was talking about retirement, and I had yet to have a single article or story published.

I did have some poetry success, but I wanted to write, to really write. Time was running out on me. I had to stop making excuses and get busy.

“There’s a writing workshop in Hobbs next weekend,” My husband said to me one February, dreary day.

“Really?”

“Yes, I think you should go and check it out.”

The workshop was imitating, but I decided to try the steps they recommended. I made a writing schedule and wrote the same amount of time each day in the same chair. I started keeping a journal, and this was therapy for me. I enrolled in a correspondence class. During lesson seven, my husband suffered a stroke and once more, my writing took a backseat. But as we went through months of physical therapy, I stole moments to write about his progress. Together we learned about strokes and their consequences. I write about his and his recovery in hopes it will help some other family who has a stroke in their past.

I never finished my correspondence class, but two of my articles won “honorable mentions” at Bylines Magazine. The things I write about now are not the things I would have written about in earlier days. I will never get rich from writing, but it is the most fulfilling craft I’ve ever tried. When I start a piece of work and then finish it, there is a feeling of accomplishment I can’t explain. It lends me a satisfaction only known to other writers. It is contentment after anticipation of turning blank pages filled from margin to margin. If I help one person, it is worth all the time and effort of research and preparation. It is the most fulfilling craft I’ve ever tried.

The workshop leader told us, “You are not a writer unless you have two inches of rejections.” I want you to know, I am a very good writer.

Now, we are facing kidney dialysis. There are new articles ahead and I’ve done a bit of research on the “horse and buggy day’s city.”


used KJV Bible
574 wordcount


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Lynda Schultz 04/13/06
What a wonderful testimony and word of encouragement!

I think you probably mean "about HIM and his recovery",— that's minor. But I am still trying to figure out: "It is contentment after anticipation of turning blank pages filled from margin to margin." But other than that, this was well done.
Jan Ackerson 04/15/06
I liked this very much--you are an expert at your craft. I didn't understand the references to El Paso, which seemed to reference some "inside" information, and didn't seem to have much to do with the heart of your piece. Loved your ironic response to the 2 inches of rejections! Very entertaining voice.
Edy T Johnson 04/17/06
'In Ezekiel 12:23, I read, “The days draw near as well as the fulfillment of every vision.”' This speaks to me as a PROMISE (rather than a 'slap') that God is in the process of allowing your long-term dream to come true! I am so happy for you, kindred spirit! Often God does seem to side-track us (in our opinion!) with interruptions. Only later do we realize this was part of His will for us all along. And, now we have all these good, true-to-life stories/illustrations to write about! I'm adding you to my 'favorites!'
Marilyn Schnepp 04/18/06
Nice piece on the life of a Writer or a "wannabe Writer". I enjoyed it. I am wondering if the word imitating was meant to be intimidating; but otherwise it sparked new life in this Writer. Thanks for sharing. (PS. I too must be a good Writer because my rejections measure MORE than 2"...smile)
David Story04/19/06
A blessing.
Thank you.