Sunday, April 21, 2013
Besides being a writer by nature, I am also a natural teacher. It’s an automatic response for me to want to help others do better what they do well. Sometimes to the embarrassment of my children, it’s another instinct I can’t shut off.
There have been times in public spaces where I see a child struggling with something, reading a sign for example, when the Teacher Button flips on and I am in the moment guiding their learning. “Excellent! You did that really well!” Complete with teacher smile and thumbs up.
Did I mention I don’t have to know the child to participate in their learning experience?
The instinct is ramped up when someone I know hesitates exercising their abilities in the face of criticism or fear.
“I know you can do this. It will be fantastic! People need what you have to give.” I heard myself saying these types of phrases several times over the last two years or so as I watched a friend of mine grapple with the idea that his words have value.
I recalled facing the Writer Bridge. Walking up the steps on someone else’s confidence, looking across the divide with many voices echoing the need, the value, the purpose of my words. Then walking step-by-editing-step through the book building process. Chapters falling together, editor advice filling in blanks, sharpening the product, revising and revising until suddenly I found myself on the other side of the bridge.
There is an e-mail that you get from CreateSpace when the uploading is final and you can print your book. It’s the coolest thing. I remember anxiously waiting for it and then reading it 10 times out loud to myself. It’s hard to explain what it feels like to know your words will be read by people – some you know, some you don’t.
Frightening, comes to mind.
What if they find my mistakes? What if they see my inconsistencies? What if I ramble and make no sense?
What if someone is blessed by my story? What if I make someone smile? What if someone faces a challenge with confidence based on my experience?
I watched all of this through another set of eyes this week as my friend’s book hit the world. I played a very small part in getting the book from idea to print. Recognizing my own lack of knowledge, I even dragged others into the fray.
As a writer I am glad to have something good to read. As a teacher I am glad to see the success of someone else. As a friend I am glad to have a friend published.
I recommend his book. It will challenge how you see yourself as follower of Christ. It will encourage you to stretch farther, do more, be more like Jesus. His writing is uplifting, encouraging, thought provoking.
His name is Mark Showlater and his book and website can be found here: Message of Hope Ministries
Sometimes writers see through a teacher’s eyes.
To order a copy of A Book of Pages About Crossing Bridges or a Friend Named Jesus,
please visit my website: Writer's Pages
Facebook: Author Kris A. Newman