With technology making my dream of writing a possibility, it was time to learn the craft. Steve, my husband, found a Christian Writer’s Fellowship that meets monthly about 40 miles from us. Repeatedly, I heard two pieces of advice from this group of mostly published authors.
I thought to myself, “Read. That would be nice except I haven’t read a book since college. How could I do that?” Thinking back, I remembered a special player from the National Library Services for the Blind, but it used 4-track cassettes specifically made for the blind and physically impaired. The machine had colored buttons with raised arrows and x’s or o’s to let the reader know their uses. The problem was the library’s selection process wasn’t functional for hunting for specific titles easily. Upon signing up, I chose categories of interest then the library would mail an unknown book to me. I couldn’t request a title and “check” it out the way a normal library operates.
The authors in my group listen to Kindle books and I couldn’t since Kindle wasn’t accessible for the blind at that time. Giving up isn’t in my nature so I listened to glean what I could from meetings until I could figure something out. Then while corresponding with a blind gentleman via my new, special internet browser, he shared the National Library for the Blind had gone digital. Not only was it smaller and used cartridges, but they offered a website where downloading free books anytime of night or day became possible.
Right away, I ordered one. Soon my fingers were browsing book titles over the internet. I felt as if I were a kid again in awe touring a candy factory. While choices were far greater than before and control was at my fingertips, I soon discovered limitations there as well. “How to Write” books weren’t available at all, but this site did allow me to listen to multiple books from lots of authors in different genres which
was the main purpose. At least I was off to a good start.
Practicing writing came next. That meant learning my wonderful new technology on my computer. Serotek made an easy interface program for the internet browser for someone getting older who missed out on over a decade of computer growth. Yes, I’m talking about myself. I had to learn how to type again, learn special keyboard commands, and lots of terminology. I had heard of email for many years and now I could learn! But, what is eatable text? You know, the blank lines? It really was saying edible text, but I hadn’t heard of such a term. Made me feel as if I had time-travelled.
Using Windows desktop, programs, files, and documents was much more complex. I didn’t know how to leave my internet browser to view items on my computer hard drive. My skills using email were still basic at best. How could I start truly practice writing? My husband showed me how to get to Word pad and the basics of how to use it. I could at least send emails, so…I could start there. And, start indeed, I did. It might not have been writing stories, but I became conscientious of grammar while writing messages to friends. I began writing a journal in Word Pad to work on being more creative.
I knew the Bible says, “All things are possible,” but I sure didn’t know they would take this much effort. I was just beginning to scratch the surface of my writing journey.
Would any of you try learning this much new stuff to pursue your dream?
What obstacles did you have to overcome?
Please share them in the comments below.