The Joy of the Written Word

Carvings were precursors to words.
Carvings were precursors to words.

Over the past few days I’ve received several new notifications from the Blogs I Follow.  If you check the link, you will find that I follow a pretty interesting group of people. Several of them are published writers and there are others like myself that may be classed as “aspiring to be published” or “enjoying the experience”. There also appears to be self doubt floating around.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve only been doing this blogging business since September but quite honestly, I’ve had a desire to write for a very long time.  I’ve always thought there were stories I wanted to tell.  What kept me from it were a few things.

  1. Like most people, I had to work for a living. By and large I enjoyed my jobs and if I may be not very humble, I was good at what I did.
  2. I didn’t think that anyone would be interested in what I had to write.
  3. I wasn’t committed enough to the process. I’m not much of a risk taker.  I wouldn’t bet on the replay of a Super Bowl game in case I picked wrong!
  4. The technology wasn’t available as it is today to be able to get the word out easily and quickly.
  5. I had no idea how to get a book or short story published.

I’m one of those weird guys that took typing classes in High School.  Remember even in the 60’s (yes, the 1960’s if anybody has other ideas) typing was something that “girls” took, not boys.  After all, most “girls” still went on to administrative jobs, nursing or teaching. (Don’t tell my wife I said this as she was one of the first women to enroll in Information Technology classes and go on to be a senior IT manager.)

Typing was a class I loved.  There was something about the sound of the keys hitting the roller, the silent cursing when you were on a roll and the keys jammed and you had the ribbon fail at the same time. It must have stayed with me because I went on to get jobs in the technology field where keyboards were our livelihood.

Here I am today, typing a post, on a computer in my home that is connected to a server in another country, and knowing the post may be read by people all over the world.

When I retired over five years ago, I did it out of necessity not a desire to retire.  My hearing got to a point where I could no longer function as an executive, deal with customers or sit in Board meetings.

retirement (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

When I retired, I knew that I would miss certain things. My greatest joy in working was working with people to make things better.  I was hired by organizations to do just that.

In my world saying “I don’t know” was an acceptable answer, it was an opportunity to learn.  Making mistakes was expected but you were expected to own up to them.  Asking for help was a sign of strength and not weakness. My door was truly always open. Taking a break and having a chat was always welcome. It’s amazing what you learn by listening.

For the years following my retirement and up until I started writing, I was busy but not necessarily productive. I missed the interactions with people and just the idea of having something to do. I’m not a golfer.  Picture a chimpanzee trying to use a driver for the first time to hit a 250 yard drive.  You have the picture except it’s the way I golf all the time.

But there was this little voice telling me that I wanted to write.  I signed up for a writing course at one of our community colleges and I was hooked.  I found out from my instructors that I do have a knack for it. I was encouraged to continue. I created my blog and started to write. I am now really enjoying doing something productive in my retirement that puts a smile on my face.

I’ve met some great people since I started. I know I may not be as successful as Diane Henders  (, Elena Aitken (, Leanne Shirtliffe ( or several other published authors.  I won’t have the wit (sarcastic as it may be) of Madge Madigan at (; the ability to explain the issues of buying a second home like Renee Jacobsen (; the passion for a cause as expressed by Andrea Raethka (;or be able to put the love and pride of a daughter into words as wonderfully as Kiran Ferrandino (

However, there are some things I do know. I know if I hadn’t tried writing now, in ten years I’d wish I had. I know that I don’t care if I ever become a published author but it doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop trying.  I did finish the novel for NaNoWriMo! ( so I know I can write some good stuff.

So for those of you who may be having some doubts about what you can do, JUST GO FOR IT!

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