Brenda Smit-James ~ Writer, Memoirist, Instructor


I never expected to be a writer!

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Four years ago, I would have been no more surprised to have an author's website than if I was invited to be Governor General of Canada. Well, not quite, but close. 

I never saw myself as a writer, let alone as an author. 

It was a depression in my late thirties that set me on the path of unearthing and giving expression to the writer within me. When I emerged from that season of self-evaluation and regret, I realized that I needed a life-giving focus for the second-half of my life. 

But what was it going to be? 

I knew that it should be something creative. I considered art classes and playing the piano. I even wondered about calligraphy. And yet...I had this niggling thought...what if there was something within me, some skill I already had, that I had been ignoring?

Writing came to mind.

At school, there had been no evidence of any skill in writing – except just once. At the age of 12, I wrote a piece about doing Saturday grocery shopping with my mother. I wrote about there being too many carts and not enough space. I wrote about inconsiderate shoppers who blocked the aisle as they browsed the shelves. I wrote of women who leaned against their carts and chatted together, oblivious of our plight as we tried to squeeze by.

My story came back from my teacher with a glowing comment; I was surprised - and pleased.

When we immigrated to Canada, I wrote annual Christmas newsletters for family and friends. Each year I received compliments about how much my letter was anticipated and enjoyed. I didn’t see anything special in it, but others did. And at work, business correspondence and reports came easily to me. With all this in mind, instead of watercolour lessons, I signed up for a writing class.

So began the journey that took me from there, more than ten years' ago, to here - and my own author website.

Are you on a path of discovery? Is writing a love in your life? Or, like me, is it a gift that you have been afraid to embrace and explore? I encourage you to do what it takes to fan it into flame. It is so worth it!

I write now because I must; I write for the joy and sanity it brings to my life. Anything else that flows out of that is a glorious bonus.

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Photo Credits: Kelen Loewen and Dorian Loewen of KapturetheLight