“To the world you may just one person;
to one person, you may be the world.” -C.S. Lewis
Three reasons why I write
I’m asked nearly weekly, “Why do you write?”
Here are three short stories that answer that question:
My friend Wayne is living in Dallas right now. He’s awaiting a double lung transplant that will save his life. He’s a long ways from his home in the village of Elizabeth—sitting in a big city as the clock ticks toward the organs he must have to stay alive.
It’s emotional to think that someone out there must die for Wayne to get his lungs. One person’s life will end suddenly and tragically, so my friend can live. Within a matter of hours, one family will suffer great loss while another receives a great gift.
It’s more than ironic that Wayne’s waiting game is being played out at Christmas time. I’ve thought about how Christmas is about the Gift. Our gift of salvation and eternal life also meant that someone had to die.
His name is Jesus and His final words, “It is finished” are all I need to hear to know his death bought my life. That is the message of Christmas.
Wayne wants my two latest books for Christmas. That’s why I write: so a man in the midst of a great crisis will have the comfort of good stories.
Even though I’m not there with Wayne in Dallas, through my writing I am.
That’s why I write.
Secondly, I write to connect with people, especially young people.
In addition to selling books, I give many away, especially to children and teens.
Last month at Dry Creek’s Community Thanksgiving service, I talked with Austin Barrett, a local preteener. I gave him a copy of my latest book and scribbled a short note in about how he inherited a good name: Barrett. Austin’s family has been highly respected in our community for generations.
This week Austin’s mom sent me a copy of a paper he wrote in school,
Dear Curt Iles,
Ever since I started reading your new book A Good Place, I have learned how to trust in God through difficult times even when it’s hard to. I relate to Mayo because we both have jobs on a farm.
Your book inspired me to want to read your other books.
Your writing affected my life because now I have put more faith in God. In conclusion, this was the best book ever.
Folks, that is why I write.
Finally, I write to make new friends.
Last week, I had a book signing in downtown Natchitoches at The Book Merchant, one of Louisiana’s finest independent bookstores. It was a rainy afternoon and foot traffic was light along the brick street where the famous Christmas lights are displayed.
An older couple came into the store and I gave them bookmarks. This started a conversation and I soon learned about them. They had traveled over from Jacksonville, Texas to stay in one of the city’s beautiful bed and breakfast inns as celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary.
The husband bought a book and I had the privilege of signing it, wishing them a wonderful anniversary in their Natchitoches visit.
It was so obvious how deeply they were in love. They were giggling and hugging on each other like two hormone-driven teens at their senior prom. It was like a breath of fresh air watching them.
I wrote their names in the book, wishing them a happy 49th anniversary on Dec. 17, 2009 in Natchitoches, Louisiana.
Today, I cannot recall their names, but I’ll never forget them.
They walked out of the store with my book, and I captured in my heart the joy I saw in their faces.
Hopefully, it was a good trade on both ends. I believe I got the better end of the deal. Long after they’ve forgotten my stories, I’ll still hold their smile in my heart.
And that’s why I write.