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graphic: Martha G. Brady

graphic: Martha G. Brady

Today is the 3rd in the series at Kate Motaung’s blog titled On Being a Writer by Anne Koeker and Charity Singleton Craig. The book is also available at the website. Feel free to join us. This is week two.

Surrounding myself with the things I write about is what this chapter talks about. But how did it happen? GOD is surrounding you with many weird and wonderful people! He put them there with purpose.

GOD is surrounding you with many weird and wonderful people! He put them there with purpose. Click To Tweet

A neat, tidy world of only nice people who treated me kindly at all times would have been very sterile…and I would have felt patronized!

All weird people would have made me weirder than I am. But the mix made me appreciate each one…and added spice to my life. It certainly made for an interesting life for sure and one that feeds my writing today.

What do I write about?

What do I write about? People, family, relationships, aging, the grace of GOD, church life, to name a few. That is where my life has been immersed in for the last 40+ years.

It is my passion. It is my love. It is the way I have lived my life.

I didn’t start writing until about 10 years ago…in my early 60’s. I have a lifetime of experiences that I am making sense of. No, not for the first time, but we gain a certain perspective 10, 20, 30 years after events that we didn’t have when they occurred.

What motivated me to write?

That was my motivation to write: sharing that perspective with younger women than I. Or older women who are struggling to make sense of their lives because they didn’t have careers…or maybe because they did.

A lifetime of living in the U.S. in a few different states, outside the U.S. both as a child and as an adult, have given me a somewhat unique perspective.

I have an appreciation for and love of diversity. I don’t always get it, but I love it when I do. My love of quilting is a metaphor for my love of diversity I’m certain.

If we both agree on everything, one of us is redundant. -Ruth Bell Graham Click To Tweet

When Ruth Graham said this, it was in reference to marriage, but it can be applied to other relationships as well. Who wants to have a friend who agrees with them on everything and in every area? Boring isn’t it? We don’t want to be arguing all the time for sure, but having a yes man or woman is pretty dull.

I like having people in my life who have different points of view and challenge me. I want to think and stretch. It is good for my mind. It stimulates my thinking.

I go home and read and discuss. I come back with new information and have new ideas to share…but it is in a context of friendship. I know that if we don’t completely agree, we will still be friends. We will agree to disagree. We won’t need to agree on every issue. We are good.

Where have I learned the most?

And over the years, I think I have learned most from those who have been the irritants…the weirder ones than I, the ones that wouldn’t talk to me or make eye contact, the ones who were difficult to get to know, but were so worth it! They all helped my writing life and fed it whether I write about them directly or not.

I had to learn to move toward them instead of avoid…my natural default. I had to realize they all wouldn’t be my best friends, but we could be on friendly terms. It was, and continues to be a long journey. But the grace of GOD is with all of us to this day…and will continue to be.

Pay attention to the things and people He has placed in your life. Especially the ones you don’t immediately appreciate. Maybe they are meant to be fodder for your writing.

May His grace be with you today as you look at the people and things He has providentially surrounded you with. Yes, you may want to surround yourself with more of the healthy things for sure, but the things you have will give you clues to what you already have to write about.

Sometimes, we need a new take on the gifts He has given us. Being able to see some of them as gifts for example!