Epilogue: Why I Write:
“If you’re able to quit writing, you probably should.” -Cec Murphey
I write for the simple joy of expression. I have fifty-one journals that I’ve filled with stories, dreams, ideas, and the journey of my life since age seventeen.
If I never published another single word, I’d still write. It’s what I do. I guess it’s who I am. I have one final story that expresses the reason that I publish and share my writing:
The man’s voice was so soft that I shifted the telephone receiver to hear better. “Sir, you don’t know me, but I’ve read your book.”
He sounded older than me, and I was struck by the strange blend of sadness and calmness in his words. “I read your book in Angola Prison.”
He had my full attention. “Which book?”
“Stories from the Creekbank”
“How’d you get my book in Angola?”
“I don’t know how it got there, but God used it to change my life.”
I listened carefully. In spite of being a speaker, I had nothing to say.
“I made a promise that when I was released, I’d call and thank you. I’m keeping that promise.”
I’m ashamed to say I didn’t get his name. I was too touched to respond.
That was four years ago. I’d just started writing and speaking full time and had inner doubts if we’d make it. The gift of his call was what I needed to move forward and take any risks needed to write, share, and grow.
I write for the two “I” words: Influence and Impact. I want my words to have a wide ripple effect of influence. I want them to travel to places I’ve never been.
Like Angola Prison, or maybe Angola, Africa.
I wish for my writing to have a deep-rooted reverberation into the hearts of readers. That’s impact.
I’ve thought about my Angola friend’s call many times. A humorous critic told me, “I know how your book got to Angola. Someone gave it to Goodwill.” He added with a wink. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
He’s right—I have another faithful reader in Colfax that first “discovered” my books on top of a dumpster at the Grant Parish Landfill.
Where will this book that you’re holding travel to?
I hope it first lingers in your heart. I wish for impact and encouragement for you. Who knows where it will go next? Feel free to keep it and re-read it over the years. But you have permission to pass it on if you’re finished with it. Share it with a friend . . . or send it to Goodwill.
Who knows where it’ll end up?
Like the fluttering pine seeds that helicopter-down from the cones, our words—written or spoken—can travel on the wind far beyond where we are rooted.
We never know where they’ll take hold, sprout, and reach downward into fertile soil.
That’s why we call it deep roots.
Still digging, still growing.