Saturday, June 2, 2012

A "Casual" Conversation?

A Facebook friend request appeared a few days ago from Paul, a fellow I'd known in college. I can't say we were close friends. In fact, I recall having only one conversation with him, on a wintry Saturday morning when the campus food service was closed and we landed side-by-side at a downtown coffee shop. I don't even remember what we talked about--but he does! A text message soon arrived:

Hey Joe, Been a long time. I remember back in 1970 you encouraged me to write. Thought I couldn't do it. Well, after 23 years of ministry, 10 years of sales, and 7 years owning my own businesses, I have written two main biz books, 10 smaller books, ... have one being edited on the choices we make in business and in life, a photography book waiting to be published, have written a turn key system on cash flow, and now finishing up a turn key business development system for professional photographers. I am a partner, along with the majority owner, in a national business solutions company. Good to see your name. Let's connect sometime.
I can't claim to have been the inspiration for Paul's writing career because, as I said, I have but a dim memory of that conversation. But while we made small talk over coffee and toast, I must have said something that fanned his interest in writing. Perhaps it was just the simple question: "Why don't you write about this?"

Most of us became writers because someone encouraged us to try, so let's share that encouragement with others. Let's pay closer attention to our "casual" conversations to see if we can strike a spark (or fan one already there) that could blaze into someone else's writing career.