When most of us hear the word writer, we think of John-Boy Walton sitting upstairs in his room looking out the window jotting down life as it happens.  Whether it be novels, short stories, poems, or information necessary on any given topic – we need words that make sentences that make paragraphs to provide us with reasons, explanations, sometimes more questions, and our truth.  Recently, on a visit to my parents, I walked past my dad’s desk. I saw the usual rock collection sitting on the window sill, old family photos faded in tattered frames, but as I looked closer – I saw writing.  There were stories, letters to the editor, notes on world events and the Bible, some poetry, but all thoughts and experiences penned in only his script on notebook paper or index cards, stuffed in every nook and cranny that was available in that small comfortable space.

Writing doesn’t have to be a Tolkien or Victor Hugo novel, but just simple stories like finding a stray dog or losing your wallet in the grocery store.   If there were no writings to tell us where we came from, or what we are made of – the world we know would not exist. Imagine if you never heard your story – where you were born, who your parents were, why you are who you are. Often, adults that find out later in life they were adopted earnestly investigate to find their birth parents. They want to know more about their truth.  Many websites allow you to research your story using scientific methods and generating positive results from the storytelling they can do with DNA.  Spit in this tiny tube for half an hour, take a trip to the post office, and bingo – in a few weeks find out everyone you were ever related to and what percentage of Europe, Africa, or Asia you are.  Genius! Everyone wants to know their story. 

A writer is not just someone helping you sort through your ancestry, but someone that wants you to feel what they feel.  This year I had the honor of teaching the Creative Writing Class at Waxahachie High School.  Thirteen students that only wanted to write.  It didn’t matter what we wrote during class – it was our voice, our expression, and how we communicated.  Sometimes it was emotional, often it was something funny, but it was always original and raw.  For us, nothing is more satisfying than writing.  Hearing that our words triggered a memory or feeling in someone is the most gratifying return.  When a writer records their words onto paper, and the reader understands that purpose – we come together.  Writers write for many different reasons, but the important thing is that they do it! Maybe you should start that journal or diary – it’s never too late to write it down, and you never know who may benefit from reading it one day. 

Theo Acker is a resident of Waxahachie, an educator and a guest columnist for the Waxahachie Sun.

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