Learning life lessons while writing – part II or People who need people

30 04 2010

During my 14-year professional career, I have been both a writer and an editor. God has blessed me with the ability to do both things pretty well. The editing skill can be almost annoying at times. I am constantly catching typos in articles, on TV, on billboards, everywhere I look. It’s almost a curse. Especially considering how bad people’s spelling and grammar skills have gotten. You’d think English was a second language for most people LOL

I think the fact I have both skills is serving me well as I write my book. Not all writers can edit, and not all editors can write. They are really two different skill sets. A good writer can come up with the idea for the story/article, gather information and then put together the story/article. An editor has to look at the piece of writing more critically. As I am writing my book, I am constantly stopping and evaluating what I am writing. Is this gramattically correct? Are there stronger words I could use? Is there a better way to say this? Does this make sense? Could this text go in a different spot? It takes me a little longer to write than other writers because I am doing that. I hear about writers who write “X” number of words every day and wish I could do that. But I’m too much of a perfectionist when it comes to my words to do that. Or maybe I’m just not as good as those other writers LOL

But no matter how good of a writer or editor I am, I know that I can’t do this by myself. I need other people to read my work and give me suggestions. I need to bounce ideas off people or talk through a scene with someone (Thanks Erin!) I need people to look at my work and give me constructive advice. Do the characters feel real? Does the story make sense? Is there a hole in the story? Sometimes I wish I could do like some writers and just go off to a secluded cabin somewhere for a few months and turn out a complete novel. Of course, in the movies, they always end up being stalked by some crazed killer or visited by a ghost or something so maybe I don’t want to do that. Actually, I don’t think I could do just take off and seclude myself for a long time. I may have some hermetic tendencies, but I need people too much. I need the people who I love and care about in my life to inspire, encourage, support and love me.

This is true of all of us in our daily lives. We all need people. Remember the Barbara Streisand song. “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.” Some us try to be strong and do things on our own. Or maybe you’ve been hurt by people you trusted in the past and so you have a hard time leaning on people now. Or maybe you’re just shy or embarrassed to tell someone else something you’ve done or something that has happened in your life. Well guess what? That person you are too afraid or embarrassed or proud to talk to has something in  their life that they want to tell someone about, too. But they might be too afraid to tell anyone. We all have things in our lives that embarrass us. We all have been hurt by loved ones or people we trusted. But we can’t let that stop us from finding someone we can trust and rely on. God made us to need each other. It is OK to be cautious about who you trust, because God doesn’t want you to get hurt either. So take time to build a strong relationship built on friendship and trust. Then you can feel safe opening up and sharing your hurts and your fears. There are many things inside my head or things I have done that I have never felt safe telling anyone before Erin. We have built a relationship where we feel safe telling each other our deepest darkest secrets that no one else knows. We can do this because we feel safe and know the other person isn’t going to tell someone else or think less of us. But that kind of relationship doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes time and effort, but it is possible, and very necessary.

We all have the potential to be strong individuals, but no one is strong enough to carry all of life’s worries and cares alone. God wants us to tell Him about our problems. In I Peter 5:7 it says, “Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.” But He also wants us to find friends and help each other. In I Thessalonians 5:11, it says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” And II Corinthians 1:4 says, “[God] comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

Don’t try to make it through life alone. No man or woman is an island unto themselves. If we all work together in God’s love, what a world it could be.

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

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