The Journey, Seventh Overlook: Too

A true writer is a teacher, first, last and always a teacher. I have come to believe there is a joy, a something which I can bring up from my typewriter which might make a difference in the world. We all arrive at this moment. To believe it is in us, and to act upon that notion, defines who we are. (POTP p.18)

Now, as a writer, I try each night at my desk to push out into the darkness and across the water the sound of my voice, hoping someone will wave back, or shout, like my echo, a greeting: “Yes! Hello! I have felt that way too!” (POTP p.26)

These ideas are part of why this book made such an impact on me. My first book is selling and I am in the process of writing the second. I’m beginning to speak of myself as a writer or an author. I believe I have a voice, and a story to tell, so I found myself responding to De Vinck, saying, “Yes! Hello! I have felt that way too!

This blog exists to send my voice into the darkness and across the water so that you, the reader, might say, “I have felt that way too!” I effort to make all of my posts transparent and authentic so that you can relate and feel safe sharing your thoughts. When I’ve erred in my thinking, I want to talk about it so that others might avoid my error, or feel safe sharing theirs. Like the first quote said, “a true writer is a teacher…” and that’s exactly what I strive to be.

I will be true. I am a writer. I am a teacher.

I would never place myself in their stratosphere, but I like to think of myself like a Rosa Parks, or a John the Baptist: a voice calling out in the wilderness. I don’t think Mrs. Parks intended to “change the world” when she decided to keep her seat on the bus, I believe she had enough and decided she would be silent no longer. I will not be silent either. I have felt that way too.

I want to change your world with the words God gives me. You, the reader, the receiver of these ideas, the person with the can to their ear connected to me by the twine we call the World Wide Web. We’re communicating, you and I, and I write to teach… hoping you will shout back.

I shared this quote last night, when I was speaking to “The Friends of the Taylor County Library.”

I came to believe this much:  good words are worth the work.  Well-written words can change a life.  Why is this? Words go where we never go—Africa.  Australia.  Indonesia…

Written words go to places you’ll never go.
…and descend to depths you’ll never know. 

Readers invite the author to a private moment. They clear the calendar, find the corner, flip on the lamp, turn off the television, pour the tea, pull on the wrap, silence the dog, shoo the kids.  They set the table, pull out the chair and invite you, “Come, talk to me for a moment.” The invitation of a lifetime.

Accept it. We need your writing. This generation needs the best books you can write and the clearest thinking you can render.  – Max Lucado, The Write Stuff

I have felt that way too! That’s why I write.

Maybe you don’t write, but De Vinck believes that we ALL arrive at the moment where we think we can make a difference in the world. Wether it’s organizing events, broadcasting into the social network world, volunteering, adopting, writing a congressman, becoming a congressman, running a marathon, launching a blog, losing weight, spending time with your kids, playing golf, whatever it might be; you’ve believed you can make a difference in the world. How you act upon that notion defines who you are.

De Vinck shared Oliver’s story and today you are reading this blog, Christopher is still changing the wold with Oliver’s story. Your actions can go to places you’ll never know and descend to depths you’ll never know… but first you must act. I’m acting, I hope you will too.

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About ryan85

A son, a brother, a husband, a father of eight, and a friend. A follower of Jesus Christ. A fan of the Seminoles and all teams Atlanta. I write, I read, and teach when I can. I prefer red pens. I'm easily distracted. I've lived in Augusta, GA, northern Minnesota, the beautiful western NC mountains, and Tallahassee, FL - Go 'Noles. I played football for FSU, was on the national championship team in 1999, and took a few snaps with the Pittsburgh Steelers. My favorite colors are fluorescent yellow, and Garnet & Gold. I drive a minivan and think it's cool.
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4 Responses to The Journey, Seventh Overlook: Too

  1. Louise says:

    I just wanted to let you know that even though I have not commented regularly, I have really been enjoying what you have been writing. It has given me some food for thought with a work dilemma as well as influencing my PhD somewhat. I think however that the biggest thing I am receiving from your posts is spirituality. As an erratic church attender, you are making me challenge myself and my reasons for this because I have a really strong faith in God. So thank you.

  2. Dean says:

    Why do we look at the mountain instead of seeing the first hill in front of us? I have at times felt as though I could have something to offer in terms of helping others through writing. Why is it I see this mountain of a goal that makes me think the goal is too great? Why can I not just start out by seeing the little hill in front of me, walk towards it and after reaching the top look forward for the next challenge to conquer? Time after time, like so many, I see only the gigantic challenge that looks so unobtainable, so I give up and make excuses to why I cannot accomplish what is set before me. As Ryan has spoke about with himself in this post and about the obstacles of Oliver’s parents, if one looked at the whole it would be as big as a mountain to climb and therefore look undefeatable. But no matter what we look to accomplish, we must take those small steps first. Remember every journey starts with one step.

    A young lady just finished walking across 100 miles of Florida in support of those who have been victims of sexual assault. She herself shows what the spirit of a person can accomplish with the right attitude and believing that anything can be overcome with the right spiritual will. I noted in reading about her today that she sprinted up towards our capital in her final ascent towards her finish line. She proved that she is not letting anyone keep her down, no matter what the circumstances. There will always be “nay” sayers, but having the desire, discipline, determination and dedication to complete the task is the edge we all look to have in our lives. It is always interesting to me to hear about how someone faced almost certain death circumstances and yet persevered to come out on top and survive.

    I think we all have the capability to have this power inside us, but it is our own mind that defeats us too many times. My wife describes it as the “flight or fight” syndrome. We face fears in our lives every day. They don’t have to be fears of life or death, but they can be of success or failure. Making the choice of accepting the challenge is perhaps greater than the challenge itself. No one can be a teacher or a writer without being willing to accept learning and listening first. A teacher must speak and a writer must pick up the pencil/pen or type on the keyboard first. All big accomplishments must start with the smallest of successes and by accomplishing these first, greater success is almost guaranteed.

    • ryan85 says:

      So true. Sometimes, just sitting down do the computer is the hardest thing in the writing process. Like jumping into a cold mountain stream, it’s a joy once you’re in it, but jumping in is the hard part. Once I get in the groove of writing, I really enjoy it. Unfortunately, I’ll let the TV keep me from sitting down to write. Stephen King said, and I paraphrase, that a TV is the worst thing an aspiring writer can own and I understand why.

      It doesn’t always have to be fear that keeps us from taking those steps. It can be complacency, fatigue, distractions, etc. In any case, we need to make the choice to go for it anyway. Thanks for posting Dean!

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