Story & Photo – Joseph Boyle
The years spanning the 1950s through the 1980s were not good years for me to be a writer.
My penmanship is more like “scribblemanship”. A medical doctor once gave me a supreme insult. Even though busy physicians are notorious for hurried and illegible penmanship, the doctor said to me, “Joe, surely you can write better than this!”
When I was in college, a fellow student came running up to my best friend and said, “Hey Larry, Joe sent me a note. Would you read it to me?”
My Honors English professor in college wrote a comment on one of my early papers that read, “Mr. Boyle, if you continue to write at this level, I predict you will suffer a lifetime of doom and despair.”
Starting in the 1990s the computer age came along and I found myself at the right place in the right time. While computers do not make my writing perfect, I am able to capitalize on the computer age to write legibly. I can check spelling and grammar. And I get some help with word choice. Editing is now a breeze. The computer also keeps track of my word count so I can keep my stories as short as possible.
Computers put fun into writing.
While visiting Plimouth Plantation Museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts, I learned that, in one respect, the 1600s would also have been a good time for me to have been a writer because there were no spelling rules. They spelled words phonetically, which is my natural spelling method. The mayor of Plymouth, Massachusetts spelled the name of his city several different ways including Plymouth and Plimouth.
Today I enjoy writing and people can read what I write. I can even read my own writing.
In closing, remember the encouraging words of my Starbucks friend, John, “A good man knows how to spell a word two ways.”
If you have ever thought about writing, now might just be the time. Contact me if you would like to explore writing. I would be happy to share some encouraging words and ideas with you related to the joy of writing.
Joseph Boyle e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.