For the Love of Reading–Because I Am a Writer

From the time I was in 2nd grade I read every book I could get my hands on. I would rather read than sleep—so often, that is just what I did. 

By the time I was in junior high I had a flashlight and a battery charger—before rechargeable batteries were made. I never planned to read all night, but just until I came to a stopping place. If the chapter ended in suspense, I had to go on to the next, and the next…until the end, or until all my batteries were dead.

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Despite my good intentions, when I finished one book, I often picked up another and continued reading.The question I am trying to answer is, “what made me open that second book and continue reading hours past my bedtime? Was it because the first book was not satisfying and I wanted to read a good one? Or was it because the one I just finished was so good that I didn’t want it to end?

I persisted to do this on occasion even after I was grown and married.

My first two children were born 17 months apart. I had no time for reading, but the books didn’t understand. They sat there on the shelf calling my name. To shut them up I put them in boxes and carried them to the shed 100 feet or so behind the house.


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My children are grown and married now, and I have once again found reading to be habit forming. Now I not only try to figure out why that is, but also how I can instill that same desire into the readers of my own stories. Instead of finding the answer, I again find myself staying up way into the night, not reading, but writing, then guiltily sneaking into bed next to my husband just before the soft light of dawn seeps in around the bedroom curtains.I write for the love of writing, just as I read for the love of reading. Both are addicting. Maybe I have found the answer to my question after all—I love to write because I love to read, and I love to read—Because I am a writer.

Teacher or Writer–Which are You?

I attended my first writer’s conference on May 19, 2012 at the invitation of my writer friend.  At the time I did not consider myself a writer, but it sounded like fun. It was a one day conference held at a Church in Cushing,Oklahoma. Donna Goodrich was the only speaker. I learned many things that would come in handy

IF I WAS A WRITER, THAT IS!

Donna taught things like:

  • How to find interesting topics to write about.
  • It is importance to use proper grammar and punctuation.
  • If you use something written by someone else, give them credit for it.
  • Construct good titles for your stories and books.
  • How to prepare your manuscript for publishing.

I learned all this and much more at that conference. In fact,

I found it to be quite interesting, 

but I was not a writer.

Since that time I began attending a group for writers in Tulsa. 

I learned many things that would be helpful if I ever did decide to become a writer.
Speakers kept talking about being called to write.

I wasn’t comfortable applying that tag to myself. 

I had many things I wanted to share with my children and the children I taught in Vacation Bible School each summer and others with whom I associated.  I home-schooled my daughter from preschool until she graduated high school except for a year and a half in the middle. I even taught my grandsons for two years. 

So you see, I was a teacher, not a writer.
I found myself writing daily. I wrote school lessons and Bible lessons and plays. I wrote a program for a three day home-school history learning activity called “Wagon Train Camp”. I wrote pages of notes every morning as I read my Bible and studied. I often thought how great it would be if I could share what I had learned with others. 

But I was still just a teacher, not a writer.
One day as I browsed through my Facebook feed, I noticed there were many posts complaining about the condition of our economy and talking about what our government officials should be doing and not doing. That day I began writing a post of my own. The subject of my post was that we as Christians need to quit griping to each other and start praying. The only way for our nation to remain Christian, is for us to be truly Christian and spend time on our knees praying for our nation and its leaders.

 As I wrote, I realized what a small audience my post would have with my barely more than one hundred Facebook friends. It needed a bigger audience to have the impact I had planned for it, so I created a blog on which to post it. A blog still had limits, I realized, but it was a start in the right direction. The more I thought about the thousands I wanted to reach with this message,

the more inadequate I felt as “just a teacher”. 

I wanted the message God had given me to impact the world, not just those who were within the sound of my voice or who would read my measly Facebook page.

It was then that I felt the gentle whispering of the Holy Spirit, “How many more people do you think you can teach through writing?”

 You can reach the world through writing!

Then I understood. God had been preparing me all along to write for Him. I am still teaching, but I am doing it through writing. I have the opportunity to share what God has given me with the whole world.

Because… I AM a Writer.

First posted on marthajanecurtis.com