In Defense of the Invisible Writer

Have you ever doubted yourself as a writer? Ever wondered if being a writer is really a noble profession? Often our work is a “side gig” because we need a “real job” to pay the bills, but  sidelining this work can make us feel less valuable too.

But, I’m here to cast a different light on the invisible writer. What if the fact that our writing is taken for granted is a good thing?  Perhaps it is a credit to the skill that we employ when we produce such good work that it disappears! Think about it: The slogans on your cereal box, the catchy phrases splashed on the wall at Zaxby’s, even the clever little phrases on the Taco Bell hot sauce packets were the work of an invisible creative mind. Employment application forms, instructions for assembling gadgets, the news you follow on social networks—all the work of writers whose names you’ll never know, yet all are needed! If the writing is bad, we notice, but when the information flows, there’s no thought about the work that went into producing it.

Maybe they don’t know that work is not reserved for coal factories or Wall Street; it also happens in coffee shops, in quiet corners, at raggedy desks in lonely buildings once students have fled and janitors sweep through dim hallways—but we do, and God does! “Your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:4b)

As invisible writers, we tap away at keyboards, reflecting on the world we’ve observed, trying to make sense of the chaos. We reshape meaningless moments into objects that can sit in the mouth like peppermint—sweet, refreshing, enlivening—leaving a pleasant, lasting impression even after we disappear. God honors our hard work even if no one sees.

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Photo by Alexa Mazzarello on Unsplash

The Hurricane!

Recently a high school English class read Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 in which he compares his love to a Summer’s Day. Then the teacher asked the students to do likewise–that is, choose someone to write a description about using an analogy.  This high school student chose to write about her sister and I think she did a pretty good job, so I’ve decided to share her piece with you here. Enjoy!

Have you ever been in or experienced a really bad storm? Such as a tornado or hurricane? Tsunami maybe? They’re pretty destructive right? Blowing things away, tearing up stuff, throwing things across the room–just making everything look messy. They’re destructive and can be very harmful. Well, I have a storm that lives in my house. Yes–just down the hallway to the left. She’s 11 years old, loves the color pink and coincidently hates any idea of a storm. She’s my sister,  or as my family likes to call her, “The Hurricane.”

My 11-year-old sister claims she’s princess Rapunzel and she’s an aspiring baker. Even though I hate to admit it, she is a great person with a cool personality, but when it comes to staying organized, she is not your average princess. Her room is always messy with stuff all over the floor. In the kitchen, she finishes dinner and leaves her plate.  You would think she would take special care of someone else’s room when she brings all her stuff in for a visit, but I’m usually tripping over her stuff that she left in MY room because she didn’t pick it up. Honestly. If you leave her in a room by herself with everything she loves, I guarantee that room will look like hurricane Urma came in! She pretty much does everything a hurricane does and I, unfortunately, have to live with it.

Not only is she physically a hurricane, she’s also emotionally a hurricane. Her moods can switch before you can snap your fingers. The slightest thing can make her upset, so be careful– fair warning! She also can be very fiesty.  She’ll lash out at you in a way that is scary, but hilarious at the same time. Just like she destroys our house with her stuff all over the place, she can destroy you with her actions and words. Don’t underestimate her!

Cover Photo credit: pixabay.com

For more student writing check out: Flash fiction: Life’s a Challenge–Face It!

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Keys

Here’s another installment in the Irene Latham iconic images poetry! Tyhara Tyrell is another one of my lovely and talented students who chose this striking image and wondered about the significance and symbolism of keys.

What do your keys unlock?
do they unlock anything at all?
or do you simply like their antique jingle?
why do you have so many?
must you compartmentalize all aspects of your life

into separate boxes…?

are they tangible expressions of the secrets that you keep?
are they there to comfort your fingers when you feel lost?
do they reassure you of yourself

to know you hold the key,
the answers,
the truth,
knowing that they are yours
to share,
to never be used if so you choose,
to never be touched

by any other fingers other than your own.
They are yours.
your secrets,
and you don’t owe us any answers.
You don’t owe us any keys.

-Tyhara Tyrell

Check out my other creative student, Darlyze’s, poem “Woman Enough” and other creative works here on Books & Coffee!

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