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grisferrolsamsI remember going to hear a Ferrol Sams lecture at Mercer University’s Newton Sanctuary, the small chapel where I got married in 1982.

I can’t recall the year. I have it written on a calendar somewhere. But I remember one of his granddaughters was there that night.

I have copies of his first books, “Whisper of the River” and “Run With the Horseman” on a bookcase in my living room. There has always been a special place there for the storyteller.

What I remember the most about his talk that night was how he wrote his first book at the age of 60. He was a country doctor in Fayettteville.

You never have time to write. You have to make time. And that was his lesson. He would get up every morning at 5 a.m., before the roosters started crowing and the coffee pots started percolating. He would write long-hand in a spiral notebook, then have his secretary transcribe them.

You have to make time. Great advice. Carve out some time. It’s all your’s.

A few of my favorite Ferrol Sams quotes:

“Don’t write a story about the streets of Paris if you’ve never been out of Valdosta.”

“I don’t have to write for money or critics. The only thing I have to write for are people who like to read, and I’ve been very blessed that a lot of people like to read what I write.”

“There’s nothing like 5 acres of cotton and two milk cows to make a man want an education.’’

“There’s romance in everything about life if you leave room for it.”

“Writing is hard work and a difficult discipline but, next to medicine, is the most fulfilling thing a person can do.”

“There is no greater tribute after something is done or played than total silence.’’

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