The Real Reason I Write


They warned me that I would never get rich writing. And they were right.

I’ve been writing stories, articles, books and all kinds of other things for the past 40 years, and the proverbial check is still in the proverbial mail. But when it comes down to it, I know I won’t get rich. Oh, I wouldn’t object if it happened. But I am not holding my breath.

Instead, I received a nice reminder of why I write in snail mail today. It was in response to an editorial I wrote in the Southwestern Adventist University magazine, Southwestern Spirit (editing and writing for it is one of the many other hats I wear). You can read a copy of the actual editorial at my other blog site here.

The nice card, on official stationery from Texas A & M University, was from Randy in their marketing department. He writes:

“Glen: You don’t know me and I’m not an alum of Southwestern. Our president forwards to me different alumni magazines to review–and he sent yours today. While your magazine is nicely done, I was drawn to “From the Editor” you penned. It was a good reminder of what’s important and what we’re to be about. Like you, my wife and I lost a lifelong friend recently. Like you, I get wrapped in minutia. Rather than missing iPads, mine tends to be rogue deans, VPs, etc. Nevertheless, thanks for writing from the heart and encouraging me to recalibrate and refocus.”

Writing can and should be a humbling experience. I told my Narrative Writing class this morning that we need to be a little frightened by what we are writing. If we get too comfortable, too complacent in our writing, it will show. Our writing will be boring, because we will be boring.

Just as a Christian I should be in continuous awe of God, never totally comfortable in His presence, we should never lose that awe about the privilege it is to call ourselves writers.

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