Friday, January 6, 2017

One Writer’s Love Affair with Telling Stories

by Bruce Brady @BDBrady007

Once upon a time, in a life long, long ago, there was a young boy who fell in love with stories. He longed for the times he could grab a book or turn on the TV to lose himself in an adventure or fantasy that not only entertained, but also taught him important life lessons.

Growing up with Disney, he learned from Cinderella you can rise above your circumstances. Pinocchio taught him to trust the Father’s love and always tell the truth, no matter the consequences. He learned from Snow White there are kind-hearted who will help in his times of need. And the Absent Minded Professor encouraged him to never stop dreaming. And that it’s okay to be a little different.

At the ripe old age of 12, this youngster followed his love of stories into a brief “career” as an actor in a community theater. First, he played the villain, Egbert Van Horn, in Curse You Jack Dalton. Next, he performed in The Pied Piper of Hamlin. Then he moved on to high school where he performed and took drama courses his first three years—including summers.

Sadly, his senior year was tainted by a war that led to Uncle Sam delivering notice he would soon be drafted into the military. Opting to choose which branch that would be, he selected the Air Force where he spent the next seven plus years before deciding to attend college.

At the urging of his family and friends, he obtained a business degree because “it would provide the most lucrative opportunities.” Between work and classes, there was little time for stories. He all but forgot his love.

After many years of chasing a paycheck and not his heart’s desire, he finally reached the point where he could retire. That’s when he remembered how much he cherished a good tale. But was sure the extent of his involvement with stories would be restricted to reading and watching them.

Having expressed an interest in writing, he was invited to produce a script for a church musical. Not only did he enjoy the process, the audience enjoyed his product. Over the next two years, he produced four more scripts before family health issues demanded his attention.

Following success with his scripts, a magazine article, a devotion, and multiple blog posts, he decided to tackle a lengthy fictional narrative. Because he loves epic adventures and fantasies most of all. And there was a story inside him begging to be written. So, he began his novel writing journey. A trek that would require honing his craft, as well as learning the ins and outs of the ever-changing world of publishing.

There were many life-detours along the way that slowed him down, but he didn’t quit. There were long dry spells, yet he kept writing when he could. Then, along came cancer. Not just any cancer, but an aggressive, incurable cancer.

Cancer, like other maladies—including busy schedules, is a stealer of time and strength. It makes the task of writing even more difficult. It beckons us to lay down our pens, close our laptops, and put our writing on hold—or just quit forever—knowing human nature favors the path of least resistance.

I know. I’ve struggled with this temptation for a few months now. In fact, I seriously entertained giving up all my writing activities. Especially when I lost all the data on the thumb drive that contained my work in progress.

But I can’t stop!

My heart won’t let me.

The Lord won’t let me.

He showed me there are many people with health and life challenges who still write. He revealed how I allowed the demands of publishing, marketing, and cancer to overwhelm the pure joy of creating enticing tales. He called me to spin yarns that transport my readers to places where the worries of everyday living to disappear. To create characters and worlds where my audience can revel in adventures that entertain and provide beneficial life-lessons. He also reminded me that my greatest earthly joy comes from helping others. And I can best do that through prose.

So how could I possibly forsake writing?

It’s important to remember that others can do almost all the activities necessary for getting our words in print and selling them. And there are some who will do this for our friendship.

However, only you can tell your stories.

If you feel compelled to write, even if you’re never published. Even if you never earn a penny. Yes, even if no one ever reads your work. Then you are called to write. God, the creator and orchestrator of all things, blessed you with a need to write. Don’t grieve Him and yourself by avoiding it—for any reason.

When the maladies of this world urge you to shun your calling, don’t. Forget all the things a writer “must” do to get published and sold. Travel back in time to that point when you just had to tell someone—anyone—the visions that were dancing in your head. Then recall the wonderful feeling of putting those dreams on the screen or page, and let them consume you.

Yes, there will be obstacles and challenges. Your schedule will still be crazy. But ten minutes here and fifteen minutes there will add up to a completed manuscript one day. Prioritizing your writing doesn’t mean it must dominate your time.

You can do this!

Push all other concerns out of your mind. Relish the joy of turning your ideas into tangibles that can be shared with others. Recall the “good ole days” of creating stories. Rekindle your love affair with writing.

Are you feeling discourage or just don’t know what to do? Let’s discuss your struggles in the comments below.

TWEETABLES


Bruce Brady is an author, writer and playwright. His work has appeared in Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family, www.ChristianDevotions.us, and on stage. Currently, Bruce is working on a Young Adult Novel about a boy who must deal with the death of his dad, being bullied, and helping his mom through her grief. His first five pages took third place in the ACFW South Carolina Chapter’s “First Five Pages” contest.

When he’s not writing, Bruce spends time learning from and helping other writers. He serves as Mentor of Word Weavers International’s Online Chapter, and as a member of Cross ‘N’ Pens, The Writer’s Plot, ACFW’s National and South Carolina Chapters.

“My dream is to entertain my readers and give them hope as they travel the rocky road of life.”

25 comments:

  1. You are quite the inspiration, Bruce Brady. I love your tenacious love for the Lord and life...and writing. :) Prayers for you, my friend, and I look forward to seeing how God will continue using your gifts and talents for His glory.

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    1. Thank you, Cathy. I cherish your encouragement. And I am blessed to call you friend.

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  2. This blog was sent to me by God through you. I have felt so discouraged by life getting in the way of publishing my book of devotions that I felt I should just quit. And then God spoke to me through your words. Thank you. I send prayers to you that you can overcome your health challenges and continue to inspire so many of your fellow writers. Blessings to you my friend.

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    1. Thank you, Loretta. I love it when He uses me to reach others for Him. Just stay focused on your love of writing, keep pounding on the keyboard, and let Him take care of the rest. Blessings.

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  3. Bruce, I didn't realize how much our journies were alike in their beginnings. I too started by writing scripts too for church, too! I want ore and published over 4 dozen before I turned to novels and blogging. 😁

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    1. It's a smaller world than we think, Ane. I enjoy your friendship and the similarities we share. Have a wonderful New Year.

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  4. Bruce, you are such an inspiration to me and the writing community. Thank you for being so open in your sharing with us.

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    1. Thank you, Henry. One thing I've learned is God doesn't want us to keep our life-negatives secret. He knows we all learn more through adversity than we ever will in good times.

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  5. Bruce, I truly loved this post. You're an encourager, inspirational friend, and word-weaver who knows how to move your audience to various emotions and actions. Thanks you for this today. There IS power in story. Blessings!

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    1. Thank you, Karen. I look forward to your comments and blog posts because they inspire me. I'm honored to call you friend.

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  6. "Thank you" is too shallow to express it. I think God for you, friend. You are a prodder, encourager, and warrior (in civilian clothes now!). Grappling with the writing business plus the demands of life steals my joy in writing--but your wise words reset my compass today. Blessings!

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    1. Thank you, Jetta. May God bless every word you write.

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  7. Thank you for sharing your heart journey, Bruce. I'm so glad you didn't quit. Forward!

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  8. Everyone who enters the writing arena needs a cheerleader and words of encouragement. Thank you for your words. I know that I am just one of many who will be blessed by them. Thank you for your service, too. Praying for you.

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  9. Thank you Bruce for sharing your story today. I have wrestled with the publishing part of writing. I have almost felt guilty that I don't necessarily desire to have a book in print. Your words of encouragement today has helped me to look past that guilt and just enjoy writing for writing's sake. Blessings to you.

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    1. Happy to be of service. Thanks, Sheryl.

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  10. Bruce, only eternity will tell how God has used your words to inspire, encourage, impact, and challenge. In the meantime, you're absolutely right--"He who has been given a trust must prove faithful." There's a finish line for all of us, and none of us know when the race ends. May we run with the confidence the race set before us, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."

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  11. A power punch first paragraph, Bruce. A meaningful message full of courage and encouragement. An inspirational ending, my friend. I'm glad you go beyond your own strength to continue writing. Your posts call writers to write on in order to glorify God.
    You're the best. Shine on!

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    1. Thank you, Carolyn. I appreciate your encouragement and your friendship.

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  12. Thank you for sharing your experience and challenges. Your story touched me and motivated me to not give up. May God continue blessing you.

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  13. Loved this, Bruce! Like I've said before, you are the consummate encourager! Thank you for sharing your life with us. We are honored!
    Blessings for a wonderful day!
    Sarah

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  14. I'm late getting to read this, but so glad I did. Love, love, love this. Thanks for being transparent and sharing your heart with us. Blessings, my friend. :)

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