"There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations--these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit--immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of the kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously--no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinners--no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbour, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat, the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden."

- C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
I Used To Write For A Living

Back when I was a newspaper reporter, circa 1999, I used to get paid to write. It was actually a pretty sweet gig, if you could get past the paltry paycheck.

My day-to-day life consisted of going into the office, reading the previous day’s paper, following up on some leads, and then heading out to beat the bushes to get a news story. Usually by mid-to-late afternoon I was back in the newsroom hammering out copy. I thoroughly enjoyed that job, but could not raise a family on what amounted to a fast food manager’s paycheck.

I am a bit nostalgic today because I met with a friend last night who's in the process of trying to write a book. He asked me if I still write, and I had to say, well, no. Heck, I don’t even blog that much anymore.

In the past few years my writing has given way to my photography, and my managerial responsibilities at my chosen career (which actually does incorporate a certain amount of writing and photography). Professionally, I don’t doubt where I am right now. I’m satisfied, my bills are paid, and God has confirmed my present calling in distinct ways. I do not suffer from ennui — not at all.

While I have never considered myself to be a good writer, I have always felt a certain juice when writing. I have always felt, somehow, some sort of runner’s high when I discipline myself to sit down and forge a few words. I like that feeling.

My meeting last night got me thinking. Thinking about a lot of things: Work. Business. Photography. Calling. Jesus. Writing. Ideas. Yes … ideas!

Perhaps nothing is as inspiring a God-given idea.

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Comments on "I Used To Write For A Living":
1. Daginem - 08/14/2014 1:31 pm CDT

Great blog! Last night was a pleasure. Love getting those creative juices flowing. Amazing how the rest of life seems a little brighter, a little easier, a little more fun when we hit that runners high.

Runnings not always easy or fun. Often it's just a discipline a runner does knowing the good and benefit far outweighs those momentary times of disillusionment or tiredness. Ultimately once we get going the juices start flowing and in comes that high! Nice.

2. Daniel Ross - 08/18/2014 8:42 am CDT

I loved working at a newspaper as well but you are 100% dead-on about the pay. Impossible to raise a family with that kind of pay, especially if your wife is a stay-at-home mom. There's many days I miss it but God has provided for us through something better.

3. Flyaway - 08/20/2014 7:19 pm CDT

With a degree in journalism right out of college my husband got a job on a daily newspaper. I got a job as a 1st grade teacher in a public school. I made more money than he did. But as a result of his technical training in the military he was able to get into technical writing and then managing writers, artists, and editors for software documentation. He also got stock options. I quit working!

4. Flyaway - 08/24/2014 11:41 am CDT

Bird--Maybe you feel like Franz Haydn when you write, like he felt when he wrote music: "When I think of God my heart is so full of joy that the notes leap and dance as they leave my pen, and since God has given me a cheerful heart, I serve Hime with a cheerful spirit."

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