Monday, August 26, 2013

Know Your Calling

One of the advantages to living in Phoenix, if you’re a sports’ fan, is the variety of teams we have. For the NBA lover, we have the Phoenix Suns. NFL? The Arizona Cardinals. Hockey? The Phoenix Coyotes. Baseball? The Arizona Diamondbacks. WNBA. The Mercury. Then we have teams like the Rattlers.

A few nights ago I stayed awake to watch the Diamondbacks play 18 innings (7 hours, 6 minutes – the longest game in D’Backs history). Score was tied 7-7. The Philadelphia Phillies eventually let a fielder be the pitcher. He wasn’t trained to pitch, but he did okay. Except – our batters got five hits off him in the 18th inning to win the game.

A wise person knows their calling, their gifts and skills. Just because a person loves to sing, wants to be a singer, doesn’t necessarily mean they can sing. I’ve heard a few who set my teeth on edge, but their whole stage persona says they think they are the cat’s meow. The Phillies fielder wasn’t skilled at pitching, but he gave it his best effort.

Some people just can’t write. It’s not their gifting, yet I’ve read some things on websites, usually sponsored writing contests, that were quite horrid. The grammar and craft is awful, there really isn’t a flow of a story line whatsoever. Often a person can have a gift for storytelling, but just need to develop their skills or take classes to hone their craft. Those aren’t the people I’m talking about.

When I started writing, I hadn’t a clue regarding the proper crafting of a story. I’ve learned as time progressed. I’m still learning. It amazes me when people approach me with, “Can you read this and tell me what you think?”

I’m not an expert and I know it. I’m not even well-educated in the art of writing. Yet I’ve had a few people who send me thing to “read.” I’ve even had someone pester me to write their life story AFTER keeping me on the phone for an hour sharing events in her life. I’m thinking of two people in particular, and both are disconnectedly related to me.

Don’t misunderstand – I have friends who write and I love to read their work and tell them what I think. But to the other two – one keeps sending me “stuff” in a private message on facebook and wants me to critique it – please be considerate. I am not an authority on writing at all, I am very busy, and we are not close at all for you to expect such favors from me. And it is rude! My advice – join a writing group.

Like the Phillies pitcher, I can tell you what I think, but I may lose the game for you.

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