OK, I’m likely to get into trouble with this one. But it’s a family thing, and I’ve been in trouble with family before.
There are two wonderful writers in my family. The first is my sister Nancy. She has given me bits and pieces of stories she has written over the years. Her sense of story and her use of language create works any writer would be proud of. Yet she has no interest in her work ever leaving the company of a small number of people. In this way she reminds me of some musicians I know, marvelous voices, skillful instrumentalists, but for them truly a hobby within a small circle.
The second wonderful writer you will never read is her husband Garland. He shared with me his book of short stories, each story linked in creative spirit with a traditional Christian hymn, with both stories and hymns painting a world of intriguing characters, set in their own unique time and place, and beautifully told. He at least has preserved them in an attractive ring binder, again for a very small audience. He does not aspire to publication.
This brings me to a larger point. I think the world is filled with people who have stories to tell but who will never preserve their stories, even for friends and family. Shame. I volunteered to help teach a class in creative writing at the local Wake Forest Senior Center. Real talent signed up, with varying levels of interest in pursuing publication. The world would be a little richer if they did.
I have some ideas about how to encourage people who are not experienced writers to take the story out of their head and put it out into the world. I’m thinking mainly about seniors and retirees, those who have lived long upon the earth and have stories to tell. If anyone reading this has such an interest, contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org