The Three Only Things


What a long week it has been! On top of a busy work week packed with hosting retreats, meetings, kickoffs and classes, I also had the opportunity to help organize and attend the Rivers of Ink Writers Conference at my local library. I began attending meetings for the planning committee back in May and was happy to see the final product today.

During the open keynote this morning, Terry Persun referenced Robert Moss’ concept of The Three Only Things as it relates to writers. Terry Persun said that as writers, we must do the following:

  • Read. Don’t just read what you’re most passionate about. Read eclectically. Read fiction and non-fiction, poetry and prose. When you’re reading, don’t just get the idea of the story. Check your pace. Where do you read quickly? Where do you slow down? Why?
  • Learn. Learn from everything you read, everything you see and everything you experience. Research. Take notes. No matter what, learn.
  • Love what you do. Realize that your life is important. Create the life that you want to live, according to your values.

These three “only things” certainly inspired me as a writer, but they also made me consider what my only things are in life as general. Later on when I was in another workshop from Liz Fountain who cited Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle I jotted down my “why.” And it came out in three things:

  • Love. First and foremost, for me this means loving God. Then it means loving others. And finally, it means loving myself. Simple as that. My first goal, my first purpose is to LOVE.
  • Create. Whether it’s with my writing, my projects at work, or relationships, I feel at home when I’m making something. There’s something about setting out to make something useful and/or meaningful.
  • Move. I may be an introvert who enjoys quiet and solitude. But I also believe that I’m not made to stay still. I have to move. I have to explore. And I don’t think that either of my first two “things” would happen if I didn’t move.

I went to this conference to learn about how to become a better writer, but I got so much more out of it. I got a new perspective on how to set goals that pertain to my beliefs and vocation. So it’s a goal of mine…when I’m going to do something, I want to ask, does this fall into one of my three things? Does it lead me to love, create or move?

I was surprised by how much I learned in this conference. Maybe it’s because I’ve never thought there was much to my writing that I didn’t already know. But this weekend showed me that there are ways to perfect my craft. Far from being overwhelming, it was fulfilling. I loved it. I’m ready to create. And I can’t wait to move.

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