I’ve done a lot of writing in my time. I’m not bragging about that; it’s just what I love to do, and as with most people, what I love to do is what I’ve done a lot of.
It all started when I was a teen. I distinctly remember the secret guilty pleasure I felt when one of my high school teachers would assign a written report to my class. The moans that went around the classroom were strange to me. I just loved the chance to do research and write a report and had no idea why the moans were occurring. What was I missing? Then there was the school newspaper, to which I was a regular fiction contributor. I’m not sure why I was, but I was. Those were the days.
I was still in high school when my hometown newspaper did a story about the sixteen-year-old boy who received personal replies from letters written to President Nixon and Thomas Paine, the then NASA administrator, in response to letters he had written to those men. Like I said, I do love to write.
Although my daily work life did not center around writing, I always thought that it should have. I mistakenly felt that I needed to have some advanced degree to be an ‘author’ and knew that was not likely to be in my future. Sometimes opportunities are simply missed in life. Stories of ‘starving writers’ occupied my mind as I did other things to provide for my family, instead of seriously tackling the job of writing. Oh well.
I did succeed in securing a lasting outlet for my many tangled thoughts. That outlet is this wonderful little newspaper, The World. Many years ago, while still in that ‘other’ work life that I lead because I felt that I had no choice, I screwed up the courage to ask my good friend, Gary Hass, The World’s co-publisher, if I could try doing a column for it. Gary immediately said ‘yes.’ My hope is that he has never regretted that answer. I certainly have never regretted asking the question. The Lord willing, if I make it until next mid-May, I will have occupied this space in the paper with my terribly tortured thoughts, every other week, for thirty full, continuous years. I have never known where my thoughts and stories come from; I just know where they go, which is right here.
Over the years I have also managed to churn out three novels and an autobiography of my childhood growing up in Central Maine. (A wise person would hurry now to their computer or phone and check out the works of George E. Shuman on Amazon. And I know you’re a wise person.) If you do so, remember to search my full name, as, believe it or not, there is another George Shuman on that site, and his stuff is not my stuff. Nuff said.
The old comedian, George Burns, once said that if you find something that you love to do, and then find someone willing to pay you to do it, you will never have to work a day in your life.
So, don’t neglect your obligations, but follow your dreams too. Find something that you love to do … and do it.