Learning From Others

My grandfather used to say “I’m no spring chicken.” He also used to tell me that he probably wouldn’t be on this earth much longer. The first time he told me that I believe I was about ten years old. He was 60, and lived to be 101.  Oops!  I’m telling my age now!239140774108_0_BG

I was blessed that he lived a long life because I learned a lot from him. Not long ago when we were moving, I came across some old cassette tapes that he made for me. Instead of letters, he would record cassettes and send them from Illinois to my home in Idaho. Hearing his voice always cheered me, and his tapes were full of wisdom and humor. When I found the long-forgotten cassette and put it in my archaic tape player, I cried like a baby. Not only was his voice on the recording, but my grandmother also made a reluctant “appearance” on the tape.

I wish now that I had recorded all the information he told me when we traveled across Illinois and he showed me where he grew up and stories of how his family came to America. My love for history makes me wish I had the foresight to at least take notes.

Lesson learned. Pay attention. Take notes. Learn what you can from people who have lived and done things you’ve never done before.

That applies to my journey now.

Years back when I was performing in a summer theater group, I met an incredible tenor by the name of Robert McPherson. If you get a chance, go out to you tube and pull up his rendition of the National Anthem. Amazing… Anyway, I told him once that when I heard him sing, I wondered why I even tried. He sings effortlessly, and beautifully. His response to me was something like, “Don’t discount your own talent. Everyone has something to offer.”  So, I kept singing too.

And now, I can apply that same wisdom to my writing venture. I wrote previously about the “Self-Doubt Monster” and this ties into that. Every writer is unique. We all have different voices and different stories to tell. Don’t discount your own talent.

When I first joined Music City Romance Writers, I remember being in awe of the published writers in our group. I still am. I also remember the first time I asked Trish Milburn to sign a copy of one of her books for me. I was nervous asking, but she graciously signed, and has never been out of reach as a fellow writer. In fact, I’ve not met one person in our group who looks down their nose at anyone. If anything, it’s just the opposite. They embrace new writers and willingly pass on their knowledge and share their writing journey.

It’s a pleasure to be a part of a group that lift each other up instead of back-biting and trying to climb over one another. Unlike some jobs where people can viciously try to claw their way to the top, we are helping each other get there, and rejoicing when someone has success.

I hope that I can be encouraging to new writers and that all the things I’m learning can be passed on.

Write on!MCRW Natchez Trace 2013 018

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