I Don’t Have to Publish a Book to Be a Writer

© 2012 Pat Brown Holland

My mind is fueled with writing ideas, yet sometimes their completion seems to be an impossible dream. During one of these periods, I visited my hometown and ate at a restaurant of my youth. I was surprised to see an article about the eatery I wrote for the local newspaper posted in the restaurant.

During the same week, I visited with residents at the nursing home for our monthly hymn singing. Displayed at the entrance of the facility was an article I wrote about the joy I received from the activity.

Later, my grandson Connor asked to look at “my book.” While reading the poems I had written on the scrapbook pages, his eyes sparkled as he listened to “King Connor Goes to Disneyworld.” We shared an indescribable bond as he beamed with pride at the depiction of his personal story.

Upon further contemplation, I realized my journal writing with indexing was a type of chronicle of our family. Family members refer to it for specific dates and highlights. In my journals, I also kept a record of first times the grandchildren walked or smiled, as well as a list of their cute sayings, actions, etc. When they turned five, I compiled these milestones for each child into a book with photographs. Now, each child has a personalized history written by “Grandma.”

Then I recalled the story of my mom’s life. I wrote and gave it to attendees of her ninetieth birthday party. She enjoyed it and received well-deserved recognition.

In their seventies my husband’s parents had their picture taken at an amusement park. The completed photo showed them riding on the back of a “wild tiger”! It reminded me of their lives which really were a “wild ride.” Fastened to that picture is the story of that ride.

Then it occurred to me. I am accomplishing something with my writing. Connor’s book and Mom’s biography are not on the bestseller list, nor are my journals. Yet they are making positive contributions to others’ lives.

So instead of feeling frustrated over my pile of partial projects, I’m enjoying personal fulfillment from the completed ones.

God knows the writing priorities He has for my future. Now that I’ve thought about it, He’s done a good job thus far. So I’ll ask for His guidance as I keep on writing.
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Pat Brown Holland is a retired R.N./nursing home administrator. She has been married to her husband, Bob, for  45 years and has two grown children, Christy and Jon. She has written for Singing News, Evangel, Mercer Magazine, Today’s Transitions and other magazines. In her spare time, she volunteers singing old-time hymns at a nursing home.


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