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Amy Lou Jenkins is the award-winning author of Every Natural Fact: Five Seasons of Open-Air Parenting

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Kathryn Elizabeth Jones

 

Kathryn has been a published writer since 1987.  She has published various newspaper and magazine articles, essays and short stories for teens and adults.  She is also the author of  “A River of Stones,” found at http://www.pdbookstore.com.  To contact the author please send e-mail to kathy@ariverofstones.com

 

 

 

 

INQUIRE WITHIN

 

By

 

Kathryn Elizabeth Jones

 

 

“Inquire Within.”  The sign is quite large and posted in the shop’s window.  You see the sign written in heavy black ink every day on your way to work.  The sign is announcing a new job opening for a bakery assistant.  A teller.  A clerk.  The choice is yours.

 

One day you see only small pieces of tape stuck at the window and the sun’s rays filtering through the glass.  You know the person has been hired because the sign has been removed.

 

“Inquire Within.”  I love these words, because other than seeing them for what they are, there is also an option of seeing what they can be.

 

Writing is a process of discovery.  At first you may see your writing as only a dream.  Your first words are clumsily written, or you may think every word should be engraved in stone.  You may at first write only occasionally, only when the muse strikes you.  And then one day, to everyone’s surprise (maybe even your own) you begin to take yourself seriously.  Maybe a college professor has lauded your work.  Perhaps you have won a local writing contest.  Maybe you have sent out your work to a publisher and after eight years of consistent writing your first sale has been realized.

 

That’s what happened to me.  And do you know, even then, as now, I am not one-hundred percent sure what writing is all about.  But I know this.

 

“Inquire Within.”  When your mind is blocked and you don’t know what to write.  “Inquire Within.” 

 

“Pray.”

 

“Look to your past.  What have you learned from it?”

 

“What have you noticed today that was especially lovely or terrible?”

 

“Seek.”

 

Is this work?

 

You’d better believe it. But if you want to say it, and say it with your whole heart and soul, “Inquire Within.”

 

The more you write, the more you realize that writing is not only about dreams, though dreams need to be made and shared.  Writing is not just about perfection, because editing is required and necessary.  Writing takes time.  Lot’s of time.  It is not just about pats on the back and a sanding ovation.  It is much more.

 

All it takes is a little inquiry.  Not at the door to the shop, but at the door to your heart. 

 

 

*Previously published in Of Good Report, June 2003