Gratitude for Words
by Sue Faris Raatjes
If you’re an American resident reading this on November 26, 2015, you most likely are celebrating Thanksgiving Day with family and/or friends. You might be satiated by a scrumptious meal whose menu never changes; you might be brain dead from the commentators for the Macy’s Parade; and then, yes, there’s nonstop football looming in the background. There could also be plans to attack the stores at midnight for a head start on Black Friday specials. A fun holiday, isn’t it?
Or, maybe not. Perhaps you are alone on this day and find you have two choices: either wallow in self-pity and be miserable, or make the most of an entirely unscheduled day. What do writers do with free time? Write, of course. My challenge to you, if you find yourself experiencing a less-than-ideal celebration, is to grab the day and be thankful that you possess the gift of words.
Normal people don’t think like writers. People ask, “How do you come up with all those words?” My response is to attempt to describe my busy, messy brain – a brain that finds clarity only when thoughts are expressed as written words. I’ve often felt there must be a direct conduit from my head that travels down my arm to the pen/pencil/computer at my fingertips. Only when traveling through this conduit, do ideas become logic. I read about an author who said they loved to read their own writing to see what they thought. Writers understand this.
On a side note, many years ago, I remember saying, “I don’t know how I could ever compose on a computer.” I was of the long, yellow legal pad and pen generation. Then along came the old Apple with floppy disks. And, of course, I quickly adapted. Today, I can’t imagine writing without a computer.
Art originates in the brain – the process of bringing art (words) to fruition is a matter of mechanics. Artist Joni Erickson Tada discovered this after a tragic accident left her paralyzed. She made a successful career as an artist who paints while holding the brush in her teeth. She discovered her talent is in her brain, not in her hands. The same is true for writers. The medium doesn’t matter; the creativity does.
Why all this rambling? Appreciate the gift you have for stringing words together in meaningful, inspirational, entertaining ways. Most people can’t imagine doing that. Appreciate the clarity of your thinking that results from your gift of writing. Appreciate being able to tap into a reader’s thoughts.
Have a good Thanksgiving Day, whether you’re sharing it with special people or are experiencing alone time. Don’t fall into the trap of self-pity. Instead, use the opportunity to tackle your current writing project. You will feel wonderfully productive at the end of the day. Be grateful for your gift of words. It is a very special gift.
Route to Survival, a novel by Sue Faris Raatjes, is available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Sue is a former high school English teacher, free-lance writer, and Bible study leader. She has four children, ten grandchildren, and lives in Phoenix with her husband, Bob. Read more of Sue’s writing on her blog, Grow with God, or click here to visit her website, SueRaatjes.weebly.com.