Monday, June 12, 2017
An Enriched Life by Ruth Smith Meyer
After almost a year’s pause in opportunities for such, I had two opportunities for speaking engagements in two weeks. Since the past year has been one of adjustment after the death of my second husband, I wondered how it would go. I needn’t have worried. It felt good to be once more sharing from my growth.
This also gave me opportunity to pause and reflect on the changes writing has brought to my life in the last fifteen years. Writing in a more intentional way was a dream I had from childhood. After the death of my first husband, I began with an assignment for a week’s worth of devotions for the REJOICE! magazine. When I had good response from those, I ventured out with a few magazine articles then with a burst of courage, began working on a novel that had been percolating for a few years.
That was an entirely new undertaking. I will always be grateful for the help and coaching I got through several avenues—The Word Guild, WRITE conferences and Ray and Anna Wiseman. The writing was a joy. Even the editing and rewriting and rewriting I found rewarding. The folks at Word Alive were very helpful in the process. I was happy for the relationships built in during that time.
I wasn’t young any more, but I was a newbie where publication and selling of books was concerned. I was nervous, awed and elated when the first shipment of Not Easily Broken actually arrived on my doorstep. As many writers, I enjoy writing more than selling, but it is part of who a writer has to be. I began with a book launch, then took opportunities at bazaars, church and public events where I could display my book and sell some.
Much to my surprise, my writing also was the means of fulfilling another childhood dream—
Not Far from the Tree, a sequel to my first book, was published a few years later, then Tyson’s Sad Bad Day. The latter was another new experience, for it branched into children’s literature and stretched my horizons as I toiled over illustrating the story. Each book its own way, continued to urge me to keep growing. Yes, growth can be painful, but it is also most satisfying.
Being involved in the Hot Apple Cider anthologies, was also a growing experience. My Ready Writers group in London had already helped me appreciate good editing and those series did more of the same. NJ Lindquist and Wendy Nelles encouraged me to keep tweeking my contributions until they were all they could be. It makes me proud to be part of these books.
Out of the Ordinary was another new experience. My own life happenings, first meant for only family, then shared with the larger public, opened a whole other level of connection. At first I felt quite vulnerable, but soon found a depth and richness to the relationship I developed with my readers.
It was through writing and being a part of our Ready Writers Writer’s Group and the Hot Apple Cider Series that I met Ruth Coghill and had the opportunity to be on her radio program.
Good Grief People, too has touched my own heart and those of readers in a different way than the other books. Again, my world has been enlarged and I give thanks.
Every time a speaking opportunity comes along, I meet more individuals and get to hear their stories as well. And that’s where the third dream of my childhood is fulfilled—meeting a lot of people, getting to know them, understand them and to hear how their lives were lived. I do love people! ☺
Finding out that readers identify with the characters in my stories or with the tales of my childhood provides an instant connection. It makes me feel close to them. To hear that my writing has encouraged readers to reach for their best, to have the courage to share their growth, or to face some challenge is such a thrilling reward.
Writing certainly has enriched my life. As long as God gives me the ability to do so, I shall continue. If I can encourage some others to write, the benefits will go on.
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