You Could Never Do That? Don’t Be So Sure!

As part of community-building efforts, my church includes “Question Time” during the service. You’re encouraged to talk to folks sitting in your vicinity about the question of the week. Since I helped coordinate the coming week’s service, I happen to know that the upcoming question is: “What is something you’ve done that you thought you couldn’t do?”

My immediate thought was that there are bunches of things I’ve thought I couldn’t do, and I’ve been right! I still can’t figure out how to program my television, go anywhere without getting lost, or decipher supposedly “easy-to-assemble” directions.

But there is one thing that has surprised me. I didn’t think I could ever write a novel, and it turns out that I was wrong. Who knew?

Early on, I was aware I had a facility for writing nonfiction. Essays, reviews, term papers—you name it, I liked doing them, and I adored research. Later, I got into magazine freelancing and wrote scores of articles.

But fiction? I was sure I didn’t have the fiction gene. All the fiction writers I knew talked about barely getting out of diapers when they began writing stories and poems. They reveled in creating imaginary worlds on paper.  Me? My imaginary world was the music that drew me in and inspired me to move and dance from the time I was very young.

When injury ended my dancing days decades later, I’m not even sure why I decided to try writing fiction. Maybe I was searching for a way to cope with the loss of dance in my life and the need to find solace in another kind of creative work. Whatever the reason, it’s been an amazing surprise in my life.

And because I’m incredibly nosy (after all, I am a writer), I’d love to know your story. What is something you were sure you couldn’t do that you ended up doing?

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