I’m participating in the writing contest, You are a Writer, hosted by Bryan Hutchinson at Positive Writer. This is my story:
It began with a journey—an incredible journey.
For many years, I couldn’t pinpoint the exact time when I knew I wanted to be a writer. I thought it had happened as a seventeen-year-old high school senior when I penned a novel on notebook paper. However, it began years earlier when I wrote several poems and scribbled a few stories.
At an early age, I became an avid reader—inheriting the desire from my father. I took full advantage of the school library and checked out books on a regular basis.
And I always loved hearing a good story. My mother was a wonderful storyteller, and I loved listening to her weave her tales. On occasion, she would make up a story at my request, but most of them were true life experiences.
I also had an active imagination. Growing up in the country, with only a few close neighbors, I learned to entertain myself. In those days, we had two or three TV stations, so that wasn’t my main source of entertainment. I much preferred adventures with imaginary friends and exploring the woods near our house.
So, what does all this have to do with me becoming a writer? In fifth grade, I read Sheila Burnford’s The Incredible Journey.
This story of three family pets on a journey across the vast Canadian wilderness intrigued me. I loved the author’s vivid descriptions of the north woods. I felt as if I were with those animals as they travelled in search of their home.
After high school, I allowed life to get in the way of my dreams. I shelved my idea of becoming a writer with my tattered copy of Sheila’s book.
But I still loved stories. I often go into intricate detail in my conversations with others. One day, a co-worker said, “You should write a book.”
By then, I owned a computer, so I wrote bits and pieces. I had lots of ideas for stories (still do), but I never shared my work with anyone for fear of rejection. I thought I would never be “good enough”. Later, when another co-worker repeated, “You should write a book,” I thought perhaps they were on to something.
I took two giant steps forward. I signed up for some on-line writing courses through the local junior college. Then, I spoke with a woman from church, Rhodema, who was a writer and editor for the women’s ministry magazine and blog. She asked to read a devotion I had written.
I sent it. Another big step. A few days later, she emailed back, told me the story pulled her along, and that she had to do very little editing. Next thing I knew, she posted it on the church blog. My writing career had officially begun.
Rhodema and I became best friends. We started attending writing conferences and workshops. We visited some local writer’s group and began one of our own. I started a blog. Slowly, I began submitting work to other sites and publications, although I still struggled with the thought of “I’ll never be good enough.”
Reading The Incredible Journey was the pivotal point in my desire to become a writer. It made me want to write stories that take readers on their own journeys—stories that transport them into times or places they have never been. Today, I can’t imagine not writing.
And it all began with a journey—an incredible journey.