Blessings to you from Bonnie Leon.
Most days do you stay cloistered in your office with your story ideas flying onto your computer screen or your nose in a research book seeking an imperative piece of information that turns out to be impossible to find? That’s the writing life, but there’s more to living than that. And if you’re not experiencing it you’re missing special pleasures offered to us by our Heavenly Father. There is so much to be gained by engaging in the world around us.
We need to experience the soul of humanity if we’re going to write about it. Our stories are about people experiencing joys and sorrows, fears and triumphs, struggles of every kind, you know the nitty-gritty of being alive. If we don’t connect or become involved with others how can we appreciate or comprehend human nature? How will we know what a person will do when they come up against the tough stuff or even an unexpected joy? We can’t.
And we’ve got to do more than visit a local park or restaurant once a week to observe people. We’ve got to be engaged with others, sometimes even become entangled in their sludge.
There are lots of ways to go about it. We can be a volunteer at our local YMCA or hospital. Churches always need helpers. And if we look I’m sure we can find a neighbor in need. It can be fun working on a project together. How about joining a readers club or knitting group or exercise class? I used to swim three days a week at the YMCA. I heard the most amazing stories from the women who faithfully showed up, in spite of disabilities.
One of my favorite things to do is spend time with my family—I love to go to the beach, play games, watch school sports, go fishing, or just sit around and watch movies. And it’s always fun to read together. The truth is that life will come to us, if we simply open our hearts to it.
The bottom line is we need to get connected, listen and learn. Caring about someone else makes us better. And don’t forget to laugh. Scripture says laughter is good for the soul—I believe it and can attest to it.
No matter what kind of books we write they’re about people. If the characters we create are flat and uninteresting readers won’t care about them and they won’t care about our story. We’ve got to link-up with real people. It can make all the difference in our writing and in our lives. When we care about each other we know more about humanity and become more humane.
God created us to bond with others. Life means more when we have someone to share it with. So if you’re shut inside, staying closed off and thinking you don’t have time to get involved you’re cheating yourself and others.
So, get out there where you can find love and give it.
Grace and peace to you from God.