By Tonya Calvert
What is the point of it all? How do I find my purpose? These deep thoughts came from a dear author friend. Write, submit, receive rejection, repeat. The routine had burned her out and left her wondering if she was wasting her time.
I pondered the obvious answers of purpose in life — love God, love your family, somehow do your little part to save the world, but what about the writing part? The part that had left her tired of running in the wheel of write, submit, receive rejection, repeat. That part seemed more manageable, so I thought about why I write.
I write because I see stories that need to be told. I write because I believe it’s what I’m created to do. I write because I believe it’s important.
As writers, I think we see the world differently, in a more observant way. We don’t just see people. We see characters and stories. I wrote my children’s picture book, Saylor on the Seashore, because I was inspired by the “characters” I met at the beach. My family and I watched a blue heron with a hook stuck through his beak. This fearless bird was stealing bait from the fishermen on the beach. I wrote about the bird in my journal and created a character, Big Blue Heron, who became part of the story. The character, Saylor, was also inspired by true events. A young seagull was caught in a fisherman’s net and as the fisherman struggled to free the bird, a story formed in my mind. If I did not tell their story, who would?
Maybe in the bigger meaning of life, telling one small story doesn’t seem significant, but for me there is a peace in knowing I am doing what God created me to do. Winston Churchill said it best, “Happy are the painters, for they shall not be lonely. Light and colour, peace and hope, will keep them company to the end of the day.” Surely, this applies to writers as well. Writing feeds my soul.
Picasso said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Today’s world is a pretty “dusty” place. I especially like writing for children because they are growing up in a harsh world and they deserve a little softness.
Thankfully, I don’t have to figure out the meaning of life or how to save the world. As Tolkien said, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time given us.” So, what will you write with the time given to you? The world is waiting to hear your story.
Tonya Calvert finds inspiration all around her, especially on nature walks and at the Florida coast. She has a BS from Columbus State University and a JD from Atlanta's John Marshall Law School. Saylor on the Seashore (Clearfork Publishing 2017) is her first book. Her second children’s book, The Origami Elephant (Clearfork Publishing) will be released fall of 2018. She is married to her high school sweetheart. They live a blessed life in the Deep South with their three boys.