A Reluctant Author

I put my sudoku puzzle aside, reached for more popcorn, and remembered something I read long ago in a self-help book. Its title and author were hidden in the cloud of nonsense that fogs my mind, but an idea from it still lingered: not writing the book inside of you is more stressful than writing it.

“Well, Unknown Person, easy for you to say: obviously, you have more free time in your day than I do,” I thought—as I settled down for a nap. “Besides, I already write newspaper columns. That’s quite enough, thank you.”

I had written a weekly human-interest column for the local paper for three years. I hadn’t become rich and famous, but I liked running into folks who enjoyed my work. I sometimes thought about compiling a book from past columns and unpublished pieces, but worried it would be too much like fruitcake: a blend of ingredients tasty by themselves, but a bit much when mixed together.

woman typingStill, the book I carried inside me persisted. A year ago, listening to its quiet, insistent voice, I knew I would compile a book—and why.

I wanted, once again, to feel the nervous, anxious excitement I experience when I attempt something new, something I don’t know how to do, something that scares me, something that kick-starts my creativity.

I believe our talents and abilities unleash our creativity and the act of creating fulfills us, frees our minds to explore new possibilities for those things we’re passionate about: painting, gardening, music, carpentry, photography, cooking. And sometimes, when we set our creativity free, we accomplish things we’d thought impossible.

So, I began a book, and stuck with it, even when my mind rebelled, screamed, “Whose bright idea was this?” and sent me scampering to the kitchen for a pint of ice cream, a brownie, and all the brownie crumbs I could pinch together.

Please believe this reluctant author: at any age, you can stretch an ability or talent beyond your comfort level, and when you do, the eventual achievement will make you smile.

You can read more about the achievement that makes me smile by clicking on “About my book” in the main menu across the top of this page.

Have some thoughts
about talents or abilities that spark your creativity?
I’d like to hear.

A Recap of Comments about Some Lesser Joys
Lori’s thankful list included the first sip of a perfectly brewed cup of tea on a cold winter morning; Dawna mentioned reading glasses and a warm shower on a cool day. Janice is grateful for her new refrigerator and her husband’s bread-making ability. Sue appreciates red wine, dark chocolate, and a deep conversation with any one under the age of nine. Jacke solved Aunt Beulah’s sheet-folding dilemma by suggesting the use of one fitted sheet which you launder and put back on the bed until it wears out. No folding! Ingenious!


7 thoughts on “A Reluctant Author

  1. Well, you basically described my life at this point. But doing my art work has been a dream for so long it wonderful and scary at the same time. I’m not rich or famous, but it has led to an interesting and different path on this journey we call life.


  2. I really enjoyed this post, Aunt Janet! This is something that I feel every day of my life. I want to start my own small business but just don’t know where to start. I put my talents/hobbies on the back burner to sit behind a keyboard each day, and every key I press tells me that I could be doing something “more”. I hope, one day soon, to take “the leap” and do exactly what I would love to be doing.


    • I sensed that this post would strike a responsive chord with you, Dawna. What is it you would love to be doing? Photography? Crafts? Painting? Sewing? You seem to have lots of options. I didn’t start writing until I was 65, Dawna. I’m sure one day you’ll find a path to your dream as well.


  3. Aunt Beulah, I’m forwarding this advice to someone who’s boldly stepped into a new position and is questioning her ability. I know the last two paragraphs will resonate with her, especially hearing it from you. Your words are the right words at the right time. Funny how the universe works sometimes.


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