Sunday, January 19, 2014

An Excuse Not to Write

During a two-week visit with an in-law, there were many times when we both coexisted in his thoroughly organized home office. Equipped with two computers, two chairs, two desks, a printer, multiple file cabinets and plenty of files and papers, we comfortably sat side by side, yet with ample room in between. While immersed in our own particular documents and online work, we respected each other's need for quiet and concentration. It was during one of the quiet times that I noticed a file on my desk that contained his handwriting. His penmanship was quite similar to mine; it was almost illegible.

Eventually, quiet time led to food and bathroom breaks, and random conversations about the usual: family, weather, work, our dogs, etc. At one point, he mentioned how he enjoyed reading my blog and asked when he could read my collection of short stories. I thanked him for the compliment and clued him in about the unveiling date of the shorts. He then surprised me by cluing me in on his secret passion - writing.

I wasn't too surprised to learn that he also enjoyed writing. He certainly liked to talk when given the opportunity, not that that's indicative of writing. As we continued chatting a bit more about writing, my curiosity piqued, and I asked, 'So, why don't you write?'  He shrugged his shoulders and replied, “I never really got into it.”

I thought about his answer. He had a busy schedule that included family and church life, as well as successfully running businesses. From my point of view, he simply hadn't had the time to pursue a career in writing and at the same time properly tend to the other components of his life, so I mentioned it to him. “Oh, no,” he replied. "That's not why I didn't pursue writing.” Puzzled, I therefore asked what the reason was.

My insightful relative in-law tilted back in his neat leather chair, templed his fingers and said, “I didn’t take up writing because it would have taken me too long to decipher my own handwriting.”

I don't know about you, but that made me smile! 

So, what's the reason why you don't write?


  1. I can think of a number of reasons why I don't write, but the main one is that I'd rather read than write. Enjoyed your post.

  2. What a shame, to keep his passion suppressed! Looking forward to hearing about your book of short stories :-)

  3. Thanks for the comment. As far as the shorts, the wait may be longer than the stories. It's a work in progress.