The next best thing to doing something you love, is researching and prepping to do something you love. For instance, right now I am loving writing the story of my Irish great-great-grandparents and their journey to this country in 1848. And I love the research, reading about Ireland of the time, the challenges the Irish people faced during the time of famine.
Then, the next best thing is to teach someone else, or encourage someone else on their journey to do what you love. Remember that day when you finally got your two-wheeler going in the right direction without wobbling? Remember how you felt, like you had arrived as a big kid. That was nothing like how your parents felt, so full of pride and delight at your new skills.
Today, that’s how I feel as I look back on six years of teaching creative writing and memoir writing at the Abington Community Library in Clarks Summit. Some of my students came into class never having written anything that had not been an assignment in school. And they did not have very happy memories of those events. Some even confess about the tears shed and the overwhelming fear of failure. Now they have found and released the writer inside.
Every two years the library publishes a collection of the works of my students, and today I believe I have finished the last of the edits of this year’s anthology. I leaf through those pages like a proud parent. My student ages from 30 to 85 have done amazing work. My joy though, is tinged with regret that the book will show only a sample of their work, but what a sample, what a ride.
On June 21 at 7pm we will be gather in the Ryon Room at the Abington Community Library to not just see our new books, but to listen to the writers read their work. You will find yourself transported back in time to the childhood of a boy during World War II. Or imagine yourself climbing into a Vanagan (VW RV) traveling during the gas crisis, or remembering your mom, or thinking about some very special object that still has great meaning to you or even find yourself disappearing into a fantastical forest.
That’s what reading does. And what writing does. It takes you into other worlds.
But reading and writing are not the only things that can take you into another world. Any skill that you teach another person will change their lives, making them more successful maybe, or give them greater confidence, or help them find their place in this world.
I would love to see you at our Writing Recital (as I fondly think of it) but I would love even more to hear you share what you are doing to make someone else’s life just a little richer.