Part I — How to become a Masonic Writer overnight
by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Steven L. Harrison, 33°, FMLR
Recently when a Brother asked what advice I might have for budding Masonic writers, the question took me off guard a bit. Even though we were having a conversation about a book I had edited and others I had written, I sort of forgot I was a writer. That doesn't qualify as a "senior moment." I just don't primarily think of myself as a writer. Dan Brown is a writer. David McCullough and J.K. Rowling are writers. I am a Freemason who writes. Go ahead… call me a writer. I won't be offended. Dan Brown, David McCullough and J.K. Rowling might be, though.
So when the Brother asked me about writing, my brain had a small geomagnetic storm. I gave him a bloviated answer that meandered somewhere between the history of the written word and a full quotation of Strunk and White's unabridged Elements of Style. I could have been so much more efficient. What advice do I have for aspiring writers — Masonic or not?
That's it: write. Write until the letters wear off your keyboard. Write until your body seizes into a ball from writer's cramp. Write until the cows come home. When the cows come home, keep writing. Write until you finish the article, book, trilogy or whatever; and when you're done, write some more.
"Writers write," as they say.
So, you want to be a Masonic writer? Here's your first assignment: write. (You probably guessed that's what it would be, didn't you). Go to your next Masonic function and keep your eyes open. Something interesting will happen — guaranteed. You'll talk to a Brother who has an interesting story. Something unusual will happen in the meeting. A Brother will receive his 50-year jewel. You'll find out how the Lodge helped with a charity or you may discover an unusual buildup of carpet lint. Go home, sit down and write about it. Getting your material published is probably a lot easier than you think. We'll talk about that some other time. Meanwhile…
Congratulations. You are a Masonic writer.
Bro. Steve Harrison, 33° is Past Master of Liberty Lodge #31, Liberty, Missouri. He is the editor of the Missouri Freemason magazine, author of the book Freemasonry Crosses the Mississippi, a Fellow of the Missouri Lodge of Research and also its Worshipful Master. He is a dual member of Kearney Lodge #311, St. Joseph Missouri Valley of the Scottish Rite, Liberty York Rite, Moila Shrine and a member and Past Dean of the DeMolay Legion of Honor. Brother Harrison is a regular contributor to the Midnight Freemasons blog as well as several other Masonic publications. His latest book, Freemasons: Tales From the Craft & Freemasons at Oak Island. Both are available on amazon.com.
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