If you’ve listened to Focus on the Family’s Adventures in Odyssey radio dramas, you’ve heard the name of writer and producer Paul McCusker. His books have sold more than 600,000 copies.
Looking back on decades of writing, McCusker recalls career-changing advice he received from a high school gym teacher:
“I could point to all the advice would-be writers get:
● ‘Write what you know.’
● ‘Write what you don’t know.’
● ‘Read, read, read all the best writing you can.’
“But my mind goes back to junior high school. I was dressed for gym class and walking to the athletic field with Mr. Morbeto, who had taken a keen interest in my love of books and writing. I mentioned I’d found a story I had written the year before, and that I was so disgusted by my work, I threw it away.
“He stopped in his tracks and pointed a finger at my chest. ‘Don’t you ever throw away your writing. I don’t care how bad you think it is now, you keep it. One day it may inspire you to do something better.’
“I took his advice—and have the filing cabinets to prove it.
“Mr. Morbeto was right. Not only have old, discarded drafts inspired me to new ideas, but they’ve also inspired me as I’ve seen how far I’ve come—and how far I still have to go.
“To this day, whenever I speak to an audience of would-be writers, I tell them what a wise gym teacher once told me.”
The author of Rediscovering Your Happily Ever After, PeggySue Wells is an incurable Adventures in Odyssey fan and the mother of CWG’s Leilani Squires, who wrote the episode “The Last ‘I Do’.” (Listen for PeggySue’s single line at the end.)