How did I become a writer? Most authors I know begin their story with something about when they were six they knew they wanted to be a writer. Not so with me. When I was six I wanted to be a pegasus unicorn 🙂 (probably explains why I write fantasy now).
I never dreamed of being a writer. In high school, I loved science and math, not English and certainly not writing. So how did I start? It began when I walked into a Christian bookstore and asked if they carried any Christian fantasy. The woman gave me a strange look and pointed to a lone Frank Peretti book at the end of the book aisle.
I went home stunned. That’s it? Just Frank Peretti? (by the way, I like his stuff, but I wanted more). After talking to Dan, he suggested maybe I should write. Yeah right. But the thought stuck with me. Then on a long car trip to Seattle, I had my idea for a book. I went home and wrote. I was naïve back then. I thought a writer sat down, wrote a book, found someone to publish it and that was that. Eight years later, I now know there is a whole lot more to the writing process.
I wrote for two years, just writing out the story in my head. Then I discovered there was a writing group in Oregon and that they were having a one-day conference in a couple weeks. I signed up. That one-day conference changed my writing life.
I met Randy Ingermanson (who was the guest speaker that day). For anyone who is thinking about writing fiction, you need to check out his website here. I went home and immediately signed up for his ezine and began to follow his blog. A couple months later, I followed Randy’s advice and signed up for the Mt Hermon Writing Conference.
Mt Hermon was another pivotal point in my writing life. For five days I met with hundreds of other Christian writers, learning how to write better, how to seek publication, met some great agents and publishers and came home ready to take my writing from a hobby to an earnest pursuit.
I spent the following year just writing. Next week I will share how I write a book (from idea to final draft), but let me just say now, it takes a loooong time (at least for me). By the end of that year, I had a finished, polished manuscript.
In 2010 I was able to attend Mt Hermon again and this time had a manuscript to share with publishers and editors. At this second conference, I ran into Rebecca Luella Miller, another pivotal person in my writing life. It was Becky who told me I should blog. Once again my thoughts were yeah right. How? When? And what would I write about? But with her gentle encouragement, I jumped into the blogging world.
It is now 2011 and I am still on my writing journey. Writing is a long, patient process. It requires self discipline, a willingness to learn the craft, and lots and lots of time. I’ll admit if I had known eight years ago what it took to be a writer, I would have been overwhelmed. But here I am and I love it :). I thank God for this medium by which I can share my life, my creative ideas, and His truth.
Next week I will share the ins and out of how I write a book (and no, its not just sit down and write, at least not for me lol). So don’t forget to stop by!