Friday, August 8, 2008

Versatility

Wow. I have to preface this post with a quick blurb about a book I'm reading. It's called When God Winks at You; How God Speaks to You Through the Power of Coincidence. Rather self-explanatory, and you'll see how it fits with my post, like hand and glove, in just a bit. Wow, it's that cool.

Versatility, and how it works for writers, is something I've often wondered about. And now talk of a foray into non-fiction has made me wonder if one writer can try too much? I ask because I've done essays, columns, fiction, children's (my picture book has 6 publisher rejections, though I haven't revisited it in years), and now I want to try non-fic. But can a writer only think they have talent to pull off so many kinds of writing? Or it is common that writers dabble in lots of things? I heard awhile back that a good writer should be able to write anything. Is it true?

Here's where I ask you to remember my post yesterday, where I was trying to determine what path to take with my writing. And I mentioned I was looking for a sign from God about the right direction.

Okay, now on to what I'm so amazingly blown away by. Are you ready? I sat down here at my computer, minutes ago, having typed versatility into the blog post title box. It's not uncommon for me to pull Merriam-Webster.com up, even when I know a word, to give myself a concrete basis for the concept whirring in my brain. So I did that with versatility. Here's what came up, example sentence exactly as it appeared online, bolding mine for emphasis.

Main Entry: ver·sa·til·i·ty:
the quality or state of being versatile
(a writer of great versatility)

Really? I felt a small prick at my soul and continued with my post. And then I came to the word foray. Another instance where I know the word, have used it many times, but wanted to see what Merriam-Webster had to say.


Main Entry: (2)foray
2:a brief excursion or attempt especially outside one's accustomed sphere
(the novelist's foray into nonfiction)


Oh, holy goodness, are you kidding me?! THIS is the answer I was looking for. THIS is God winking at me. I'm blown away, stunned, humbled. Amazed. Wow.

Can I just say it again? Wow. How's that for a sign?

13 comments:

Melanie Avila said...

Wow! Just wow. That's crazy cool. :)

celestialwolf said...

LOL. Well you asked for it and lo' and behold you appear to have gotten your answer. Non-fiction it is eh?

Janna Qualman said...

I sure appears that way, cw. At least for now. :)

Joshua said...

wow, nice sign!

Jen said...

Well, that's pretty darn close to a giant neon sign, I'd say, Janna! :)

Neat!

colbymarshall said...

Cue the hallellujah chorus :-)

WendyCinNYC said...

Sounds good to me. Get to it!

Michele said...

I love signs like that, Janna! Write on, girl, write on!!

*smiles and hugs*
Michele

Joanne said...

Wow, that is quite a sign. And I think we learn from all types of writing, so you'll definitely get something out of it! It's better to try, then to wonder what-if? Go for it.

Janet said...

Two times in the last year I've been sitting in church before the service feeling sorry for myself. I'm tired of chronic fatigue; I would really love to be healed.

"Why aren't you healing me, Lord?"

"How else am I going to get you to sit still and write?"

Both times - BOTH times - the pastor (same one) said in the sermon "God threw Paul in prison to get him to write."

OK, I get it.

The pastor has not mentioned Paul in prison at any other time.

Janna Qualman said...

You're right, Joanne. Thanks!

Janet, that's awesome! I love stories just like this. :)

aaroncrocco said...

Um, why aren't you writing that book right now??? :-) Go go go! If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.

Janna Qualman said...

Aaron, you're right! When it came to writing the proposal for this book (and I'll likely get more into this with today's post), there was this surety in me, like, "I can handle this. I can MAKE this happen." And it was a great feeling!