Brutally, I recall the response I received when I announced to my parents that I would pursue a career in writing. At twenty two years of age, it was truly uplifting.
My mother let out a stunned, "A Writer? Jimmy…!"
As a businessman, Dad's first concern was always money. As a Father, his first concern was always money. "You'll starve to death. Writers are a dime a dozen. Ninety nine percent of them wind up on Skid Row as bums. You've really jumped off the deep end on this one."
"Thanks for the encouragement, Mom. Dad, get me a copy of those statistics and facts. This country needs that information. That is truly shocking. Do you think the cover-up goes as far as the White House?" Of course I didn't express those thoughts. I may be crazy, but I am not insane.
Those natural parental concerns fell on deaf ears. I was determined to become a writer. Setting my jaw, I said my goodbyes, and left to work for a large corporation and set about becoming a writer…thirty eight years later. I had displayed an uncanny determination for my age.
After my war time experiences, I dedicated my writing to the Lord. I felt a vault of life experiences was needed to properly glorify him in my writings.
As I set about to write, I prayed for God's guidance, wisdom, and truth. He gave me good advice, "Always in your writings show my great love, be my beacon of hope in the darkness, reflect the forgiveness and compassion I have given to you, and keep the wise cracks in line. Here's something that might be a good fit for your talents…one-liner greeting cards."
At long last, I entered the fast-paced and exciting world of writing. A glamorous life style most can only imagine. I began the process of submitting to publishers the novels, short stories, insightful rewrites of world history, and anything else that entered my brilliant mind.
The emails from publishers and their editors began to fill my inbox: "Thank you for your submission. At this time…actually, any time in history, to be accurate, Blankety Publishing Company has no need for contemporary trash spawned by a person of your insidious nature. Feel free to take this email and its contents personally. Do not respond to this email (we unlisted our email address after your submission). On the brighter side, there are literacy programs that may be of help to you. Your Fiend, Maximus Rejectus, Editor By Nature
All the emails were identical. I laughed...nah, more like cackled. They'll be sorry when my books are perched atop the New York Times Bestseller list, and Amazon has my number on speed dial.
Two weeks ago, Warren plopped down beside me at Sunday school. "You're the writer I've heard about. You must be taking the money to the bank by the grocery cart, huh? That's got to be the life of Riley. Write a few words and kick back the rest of the day. Guess that's why so many writers become crazed alcoholics."
Our eyes locked. "Looks like you have it all figured out, Warren. How many people can afford a rotary dial cell phone like mine, or have to wait for sales before they can shop at a thrift store. Just kidding, it's not that bad. Not until next Thursday. Got any whiskey on you?"
Then, Bill Watkins corrals me in the church lobby, "Hear you're a writer nowadays. I'm gonna write a book when I retire next year. People tell me I'm a good writer."
"That's great. Do you write on a regular basis?"
"Are you crazy? I'm not retired, yet. I have a real job. Listen, I wrote a couple of stories for English class when I was in Junior High. My friends thought they were hilarious. They told me I should be a writer."
Forgive me, Lord, "Your friends and the internet are the best recommendations you can get regarding your talents as a writer."
"You got that right, Jimbo." Bill's voice filled with pride.
"What's the subject of your book, Bill?"
Bill's voice changed with that caught-you question, "Oh, I dunno, probably…be about the corruption in the government…?"
"Bill, my wife's signaling for me to get a move on. When you get that book finished, let's get together and I'll critique it for you."
When one jumps off the deep end, you'd best have God as your lifeguard. As a bonus, he'll provide the humor.
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