Why I Write
I write because God made me a writer. It’s that simple. I did not choose to become a writer. I simply chose to do what God called me to do. I am a gospel poet. I am His newsman. And I will remain as such for the rest of my life.
I grew up wanting to be a cowboy, that is, a romanticized version of being a cowboy. I wanted to wear a cowboy hat and boots. I wanted to have shoot-em-ups with those who threatened the well being of the vulnerable. I just couldn’t wrap my head around the need for having to ride a horse. Horses scare me.
In junior high, high school, and the first year of college, I wanted to become a small animal veterinarian. I love animals. Biology fascinates me. And after working in an animal hospital for two years, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Admittedly, I struggled with the notion of having to put perfectly healthy animals to sleep.
Near the end of my freshman year of college, I fell in love with American literature. I could not get enough Steinbeck, London or Twain. At one point, I began to sense a kinship with them. I did not know it at the time, but I would soon be taking steps to join the many who sought to follow in their footsteps.
I was, however, about to find out God had other plans for me. As my dad would put it, “I was in the right church, just the wrong pew.” I wrote my first poem at 17. I wrote many, many more from that point on, emulating the great poets of English and American literature lore. Little did I know that God was helping me to hone a craft that would eventually be the biggest part of my life.
I was born again at the age of 32, finally accepting publicly as an adult Jesus as my Lord and Savior. That’s when my writing took a turn I could not have forseen, but now, when I look back, I can clearly see His hand busy at work. I started writing about lessons learned in the Bible. I started writing about my growth as a believer.
I have been writing Christian-based poetry and prose now for over 3 decades. A life-long friend of mine has been archiving my poetry on a website for about that long. God’s been giving me ideas to write about, sometimes He gives me the words, occasionally He gives me a whole poem to write down. My brother in Christ (Mark Dill) has faithfully saved every poem he could get his hands on over that time at gospelpoet.com.
More recently, my wife and sister in Christ (Annie Rogers) has helped me to share my writing in a modern blog format, featuring illustrations of personal photography and artistic creations. As now you well know, we called the blog His Newsman. As creator and manager of the blog site, she most certainly makes my poems look even better. It’s a real eye-candy treat before you even get to the hope and inspiration in the writing.
In closing for now, John Steinbeck once wrote: “I always write--just as I nearly always breathe.” And like him, but very differently,
I write: “I always write--just as nearly as God breathes them into my heart, mind and soul.” J Alan R