Friday, February 28, 2014

A new direction?

From the “Be careful what you pray for — you just might get it” department:
I believe that God is calling me to write a book. No — seriously.

How do I know that this came from God? Because it was something I never envisioned. Though I dabbled in poetry as a teen and wrote song lyrics in my 20s, I consider myself primarily an essayist and have worked for nearly 16 years as a professional journalist.

However, at the end of last year I began praying, and asked other people to pray, that I might find more and better opportunities to write; naturally, I thought that would mean writing for magazines. Besides, many, if not most, writers that I know are working on books and I didn’t want to add to the glut.

So what caused the inspiration? Picking up a book at a conference in February and realizing, This guy is talking about some of the things I’ve been concerned about for years. Maybe I can add to the conversation.
So far, after about two weeks of work, I have about four pages of notes. I’ve never done this before, so I’m learning as I go.

And that may be the point.

From what little I know about book-writing, it calls for far more commitment than the essays, feature pieces and hard-news articles that have heretofore been my bread-and-butter. If I do embark on this, I will need to find a way to get to the word processor on a more consistent basis, perhaps every day.
Though many people have told me that I’m a talented writer — one of my college professors, upon my saying to her that it might take me 10 years to become established, responded, “It won’t take you that long” — I still will need to put in the work on this project. As Thomas Edison said, “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” Fortunately, I know people who have done this and will help me get rolling — another reason to come to conference in June.

Will I get it finished? Will it be published? Will it sell? Only God knows.

If you’re wondering, I do have a topic and even a working title; however, that’s not important. What’s important is that writing becomes as much about who I am as what I do. It could be that, once I get started, I’ll be able to hone my craft — and, in the process, improve what I’m already doing and get to where I want to go.

Rick Nowlin

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