Aficionada of the Written Word

By Mary Anne Benedetto

As someone who embarked on an unexpected journey of becoming a passionate memoir writing instructor and author at mid-life, I have noted that sometimes people begin backing away from me when they find out what I do. “Is it my breath?” I used to wonder. Perhaps I should carry mints.

Then I discovered that there are more than just a few people in the world who despise having to sit down and write something of significance. Even more shocking to me was  realizing that there are people who hate to read. When I wrote my first novel, Eyelash, I hesitate to tell you how many people said to me, “I only read this book because I know you, but I really enjoyed it! It’s the first actual book I’ve read since college”…or high school…or in the last ten years…or, “This is only the second book I’ve read from cover to cover in twenty years.” Really????

When you are in love with the written word and are aware of how beneficial this is on multiple levels, it is unthinkable that some folks don’t feel the same inclination to curl up with a good book and become completely unaware of the time because they are so engrossed. It is equally unimaginable that everyone doesn’t want to select the important and significant events of their lives and preserve them with their pens for future generations to receive a gift of at least snippets of their family history.

And yet, I must remember that God made each of us with different interests, talents, and drives. I’ll never be able to convince everyone I meet that children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews would someday appreciate knowing more about their ancestors any more than I can convince people that reading is the most amazing escape from the difficulties of everyday life.

What I always attempt to convey, however, is that everyone has a worthy story to share. Sometimes I meet people who believe that their lives have been so dull and mundane, no one would care to read about their experiences. Consequently, they have never had an interest in capturing their memoirs. Then the longer we chat, the more they begin to realize that they really do have interesting stories about the paths they traveled in life.

Consider our stories of faith—how we initially came to faith, how God’s graceIMG_0172 has brought us through difficult times and stories which reflect instances when we knew beyond any doubt that God’s presence had a profound impact on the outcomes. Our faith chronicles are the most important stories to pass along from generation to generation. With these documents in hand even the most reluctant reader, many years down the road, will see how God’s love and provision for us through Jesus, gave us lives with peace and purpose. If you preserve your stories for loved ones to read, they will appreciate having a better understanding of you!

Now, where did I leave those mints?

Psalm 90:9 (KJV)…..we spend our years as a tale that is told……

Short bio:

Mary Anne Benedetto is a speaker, blogger, Certified Life writing Instructor, ghostwriter and author of 7 Easy Steps to Memoir Writing: Build a Priceless Legacy One Story at a Time!, Eyelash and Never Say Perfect. She enjoys world travel and walking the spectacular South Carolina beaches. Web site:  Blogs:


One thought on “Aficionada of the Written Word

  1. Its so true, there are SO many people who just don’t appreciate the art of reading. How its an escape from the real world? I like to think of it as a vacation of the mind…
    I am watching my daughter who struggles to read because she doesn’t like it and this is a child who request 5 books a night before bedtime when she was little (she’s 12 now)
    I don’t know if its the way reading is taught in school that turns children away from it or if its our obsession with technology. I just hope that books and reading can become a primary source of entertainment before all book stores go the way of the dodo….

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