Trudy’s Dusty Keyboard

A repost from the archives.


I met Trudy almost 13 years ago. We’ve had just a handful of encounters since then, only a few with actual conversation. Yet our exchanges are firmly etched in my memory, probably because they are all pretty much the same.

The first was in 1995, a few months after we’d been introduced. She’d learned I was a writer and was curious.

“I’ve always wanted to be a writer,” she said, going on to detail an idea for a collection of stories based on memories of her father.

I listened with interest. She wasn’t sure whether she’d want to write them for publication or just to have as a keepsake for her children, but she thought they were valuable and worth recording. I agreed.

She was full of questions and concerns about the world of writing: Should I be thinking in terms of a collection of stories or a novel? Perhaps a series of books? Should I talk about my idea with a publisher before I write? Or do I write first, then try to sell my work? That seems like it could be an awful waste of time. I wonder if I need a better computer. I’ve heard it’s impossible to get something published without an agent, but how would I find one?

“I really don’t know where to start,” she finally said.

“Have you written any of it yet?” I asked.


I encouraged her to set aside her concerns about novels, collections, agents, etc., and focus on capturing some of her thoughts in writing.

“Choose any ONE of the memories you just mentioned to me and try to get it down on paper, from start to finish. Don’t try to make it perfect. Just get it all down. You can edit later.”

“That’s probably a good idea,” she said.

A year passed before our paths crossed again.

“Are you still writing?” she asked.


“You know, I’ve always wanted to be a writer,” she said, and we had a conversation almost identical to the first one.

About 18 months later, it happened again. Same conversation, third time around.

Trudy’s story haunts me at times, I guess because of my own Trudy-tendencies. I often prefer to remain in the ‘musing about things’ state, even after my next step is shown to be smack in front of me.

Lord, keep me from being lost in the haze of “someday” thinking. Illuminate each of my ‘next steps’ as the time for each comes right. Give me the eyes to see them and the courage to take them. And please, God, give me peace about the steps I am not taking, the ones you are not pointing out to me. Teach me to let them rest.

Q: Are you lost in a haze of ‘someday’ thinking, always dreaming and talking about something but never actually getting around to doing it?

About Marilyn

Reading, thinking, listening, writing and talking about faith, creativity, ESL for refugees, grief and finding the story in a story. Student of Spanish. Foe of procrastination. Cheez-it fan. People person with hermit tendencies or vice-versa. Thank you so much for reading.
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5 Responses to Trudy’s Dusty Keyboard

  1. slachie says:

    Got it. Thank you!

    Now that I’m divested of the worry of all those details, I’m off to create! (I’ll let you know what happens. 🙂 )


  2. Sharon O says:

    For awhile I did that, then my husband said to me after publishing my two blog books, “do you feel like a writer yet?” I wasn’t sure, but then I realized it is a gift God gave and why not appreciate it and let others be blessed by that gift?
    So a few weeks ago I made business cards with my blog url on them and we have been handing them out. (mostly my husband)
    It is hard to do. I’m just praying that God’s blessing be upon those who read and share with me on the journey.


  3. laura says:

    Oh! Ouch. Well, if there isn’t a little bit of Trudy in each of us. And here I am, spinning wheels again :). Just do it, right? I needed to hear this today, Marilyn. So very much.


  4. karenrreed says:

    Yes! in so many areas. I have so many Soon I will . . . ideas in my head. The past few months have been a time of stillness, waiting to discern which ones are the important ones. But enough of stillness, it’s time to choose and move forward. Thanks!


  5. Amy says:

    Thanks for the post … I’m trying to step more and more into claiming a place instead of hoping that it will “magically” open up and be offered to me. This was a helpful nudge! Amy


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