June 28, 2015
I Am, Therefore I Write - Bruce Atchison
After all the trials and errors, I've found that writing is the only thing I do with any proficiency. At the CNIB smoke stands and cafeterias, I worked too slowly. The only reason I was a security guard was that the company was desperate for guards. The only reason I was a government clerk was because of the quota to hire disabled people as well as women and native people.
Of course becoming a writer wasn't easy for me. My vision is so poor that my nose almost touches the paper when I write. Spelling was a huge problem too. The English language has many exceptions to the rules. I managed to collide with every one of them.
The house church elders made my life even more miserable by claiming I didn't have enough faith to be healed. Time after time, the congregation laid hands on me and prayed fervently but to no avail. The minister even claimed that I lusted for good vision so God denied it to me. I often wished I was dead so I wouldn't have to be humiliated for having limited sight.
Though I had written a few articles on an amateur basis, a job counsellor suggested that I try going professional. Since I had recently been laid off from the government, it seemed like a good idea. I took a magazine writing course from the University of Alberta Faculty of Extension and began pitching ideas. My first article sold after a year of hard work. This inspired me to keep writing and sending out query letters.
Eleven years ago, I took a course on autobiography writing online. Three memoirs later, I now feel confident to tackle fiction short stories.
I love writing. Putting together an article or story fills me with excitement. Being able to create characters and settings is akin to God creating the world but on a much smaller scale. When I feel satisfied with my edits, I can say, "It is very good."