What's Your Story?

I'm curious.

I've gathered from visiting your blogs that many of you are writers who are already published; for others, perhaps your goal is to one day be published. I'm curious about how you got started writing, and how God has worked in your life to bring your writing dream to where it is currently.

I wrote my first book at the age of 9. Twenty-eight pages long, it featured a hand-colored cover. I remember a deep sense of satisfaction welling in my heart as I stapled it all together. Unfortunately, a traumatic childhood followed by a young adulthood spent in survival mode caused the dream to fade deep into the recesses of my heart. Eventually, after being buried for so long, all thoughts of writing were utterly forgotten.

But God.

Don't you love those two words? I do. Romans 8:28 promises us that God works ALL things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. That's exactly what God did for me. Through a dramatic and vivid dream, the Lord unearthed the buried gift of writing and placed it back into my hands.

He is truly a God who revives, renews, and restores.

Three weeks after that dream, a writing job literally fell into my lap. I proceeded to write a bi-monthly column in our local newspaper for two and a half years. Talk about a learning curve!

When that contract ended, the Lord nudged me to attend my first writers conference. Oh, the trauma! That was the beginning of 2007. Afterwards, I bravely submitted a few articles and had one accepted for publication.

At the beginning of 2008 I threw caution to the wind and established my very first list of annual writing goals. In His goodness, God granted me favor and the number of pieces accepted for publication far exceeded what I had on that list. All this for a girl with no formal education. At all.

He is able to "do superabundantly, far over and above all that we dare ask or think - infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams..." (Ephesians 20).

So, I'm curious. What's your story? I'd love to hear it. I can't wait to discover what God has done and is doing in and through you. Grab a cup of tea or some chocolate, and do tell.

14 comments:

Chatty Kelly said...

As a fellow tramatic childhood, survivial adulthood, no formal education writer - I say PRAISE GOD!

I submitted my first thing in August '07, which was accepted for publication and came out this month!! I attended She Speaks in June '08 (this year) and since then have had about 5 things accepted, and been asked to write a 4 part series for an ezine. My writing is taking off in ways beyond my imagination. I've only actually sold one thing, the rest have been freebies, but I'm not in it for the money but to glorify God. I pray I have been doing just that!

So glad we met at She Speaks! Enjoying getting to know you better with each post.

Truth4thejourney said...

Hi Julie, I never knew I was to write until my sister prophesied over me early this year that God was about to bring me into the ministry that I was created for, WOW! Since my sister has never prophesied before this really got my attention!

A few weeks later my friend, chatty Kelly, inspired me and I started a blog. Then the 2 of us went to She Speaks together, God really opened up the doors there, But that's another story!)

Since, I've been writing from the heart. My first article is being published Jan. 09, and I have many others that I've submitted and I'm waiting to hear back about.

God is good!!

Sonya

Greg C said...

I too had a dream to be a writer at a young age. I also had a tramatic childhood which may be why we feel the need to express ourselves. I used to write poetry and short stories but that all ended when I went to college. I was attending a local community college and making almost perfect grades. All except in literature. My instructor didn't like my style of satirical writing and criticized my work harshly.Our opinions differed greatly on political issues. Because of him, I dropped out of college and quit writing. Deep inside though, I still kept that desire to write. I fell in love with blogging and now express myself daily. I am ready to rewrite some of the short stories and submit them to try and get published.

I found your blog through CK's blog.

Spring Fricks said...

Oh can I please join the tramatic childhood, young adult survivor mode crowd. Julie, yours could have been my story except that you are farther along than me. :-)

I have been writing since I was five. I had my first poem published in the seventh grade and wrote a TV script for Star Trek the next generation when I was thirteen. (I still have my rejection letter from the studio and I'm very proud of it).

But, my self esteem was stamped our through a step mother who for lack of a better term flat out didn't like me and all hopes of having a dream were further crushed through an abusive first husband.

When I was 27, divorced and very much alone, God started putting my pieces back together. This time, he built the puzzle the way he designed.

He brought me a true prince charming to which I am in awe of everyday. He rebuilt my emotions and my self esteem. He gave us two prescious children and then he started whispering to me about the desires he had placed in my heart.

In 2006, I also had an amazing dream in which God showed me a kitchen with six pots on the stove boiling over because they were unattended. A messenger came and took me to the stove and told me to start cooking. When I awoke I realized I had exactly six notebooks with ideas for six fiction novels that I had allowed to collect dust.

I started writing. I have completed one novel but have not sold it yet.

Earlier in 2008, God sent me to the SheSpeaks conference. This breathed more life into me and now I have written some writing goals for 2009 that include article publication.

With God, it will come to pass.

Thank you for sharing Julie. Thank you for boosting my hopes in a new way this morning.

Your friend,
Spring

Travis said...

Hello, I saw your comment on Singer-Scribe and decided to pay you a visit.

If you don't mind me tossing in my 2 cents,
I started writing in the 7th grade, when we had a writing assignment. I wrote a story about a soldier in Vietnam (it was still a topic of discussion when I was in the 7th grade). The teacher wrote these words on my paper: Good job. Creative!
I was bitten by the bug and have never recovered. I finished my first novel at 17, but it wasn't very good, even if my mother insisted that it was! Alas, another 15 or so years would pass before I was able to publish anything, but God honored my persistence.

Thanks for the opportunity to join in, and I'm certain I will run into you again!

Merry Christmas!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I've been creating thoughts and bringing those thoughts to paper my entire life. Three years ago, my writing took a more serious turn and since that time, I've written two manuscripts and am currently working on a third. I've experienced a ton of rejection and am losing my steam for the process. That being said, I write to live. I don't have a clue about what is ahead, but I am learning to walk the process through without allowing my "feelings" get the better of me.

peace~elaine

Joyful said...

Words have been my life. As a little girl I wanted to be "Marion the Librarian" from the musical the "Music Man". I wanted to surround myself with the written word. That dream came true and I worked in a library for 12 years.

As I child in public school my stories were often chosen to be read in the younger grade classrooms. I loved how I could transport myself to other places through my writing, and take on the characteristics I desired for myself.

I've always been a letter writer - writing pages and pages - sharing my heart with close friends. I've also kept a journal since I was a child.

As an adult one day I was asked to submit a little writing for a Women's newsletter. This began a couple of years of writing, "From the Heart of a Daughter of Grace" for "Women of Grace" here in Canada.

I wrote a monthly women's newsletter for my church entitled, "King's Daughter's".

A friend of mine encouraged me to start a blog. This opened up another avenue of writing.

This past year I was encouraged through the "She Speaks" conference in NC to continue writing for the Lord and, as well, I entered the "God Uses Ink" novice writing contest through "The Word Guild" and was surprised to place 3rd in my age catagory for all across Canada.

I also had some writings chosen to appear on "Blog Nash" which was exciting!

I cannot NOT write :o) Although my blog posting has slowed down, my hand has not. I've been labelled a "word nerd", but it's a term of endearment to me.

Thanks for sharing your journey. May the Lord bless you as you continue to write for Him,
Joy

Gwen Stewart said...

Julie,

Greetings from Michigan (about 45 minutes from your sister!)

The more writers I have the pleasure of knowing, the more I'm convinced that the writing--"something to say"--stems from a point of pain in our lives. It can be obvious pain, such as a difficult childhood, or an inclination to be sensitive to everyday slights. I'm also convinced God gives us writing, in part, to heal. Praise His Holy Name!

I wrote as a child and teen, and loved it, but got away from it in adulthood. Last November I started "dabbling" in short stories, and was amazed to discover that the writing still flowed after some twenty years of not writing at all. One of my short stories seemed like a novel. So, over Christmas break last year, I sat down and wrote it--all 65,000 words--in ten days. That's what not writing for twenty years will do for you. ;)

Since then, I've completed three novels, almost completed a fourth, and am about halfway through number five. Needless to say, I'm making up for lost time. :)

Recently what I intended to give God as a love offering, He has called me to do. The call to write is an amazing, visceral, humbling experience. It makes the outcome--publication--less important, but the process that much more so.

Julie, thank you for this opportunity to read the stories of others and share my own. God bless you!

Shanita Waters said...

Hi Julie,

This is an awesome topic of duscussion and you quoted my favorite scritpure (Romans 8:28) which almost always comes up whenever I tell people how I began writing. I too had a difficult childhood and a troublesome young adulthood but God had a plan all along. He had me to go through all those "tests" to come out swinging with a testimony for His glory.

I initially began writing as an escape from my troubles. Then I realized that my gift of writing was actually my ministry. When God gave me the message "By His Stripes We Are Healed" which is the topic of my first Christian fiction novel, I thoguht it was just for me but then I began to think of all the things "we all" were healed from and could be healed from if we would just reach out and touch the hem of His garment.

Characters began to come alive in my mind. Soon thereafter I was published and people were about to look at the characters that God gave me (all based on different parts of me) that just as the characters in the book were healed or being healed that they could be too. I think that was what kept me going when I realized that I was writing for the Glory of god and because of the gift He gave me souls were being saved, delivered, healed and set free in the name of Jesus!

Amy Deardon said...

Hi Julie, I also found you on Singer-Scribe :-)

I came to my faith under protest through study of the historic circumstances surrounding the death of Jesus. I was blown away by the evidence, but didn't know if other people might want to follow the reasoning, so decided to write a novel about it!

My novel A Lever Long Enough is about a small military team that travels back in time to film the theft of Jesus' body from the tomb. It turned out to be almost all adventure, with just enough apologetics to spark thought and hopefully discomfort in an open-minded skeptic. It will be released in January.

Now I've been bitten by the writing bug! My current WIP takes place on the space station, entitled Nest Among the Stars from Obadiah 1:4 I'm also working on a nonfiction book entitled The Story Template.

Thanks for inviting stories from everyone! I've been enjoying reading all of them.

V. said...

My story is summed up here:

http://repurposed.wordpress.com/about/

V.

Spring Fricks said...

Hi Julie,

I was thinking about you today and was wondering how you are feeling?

Have a very blessed day.

Spring

Things Above said...

God has gifted you with some mighty writing ability! I love reading your posts! I, obviously, am not a published author and other than blog writing, I have no writing experience. I have such admiration for those of you who are such talented writers. The thing I love most is that you are using that talent to further the Kingdom of Christ. What service! Love, Heather

B His Girl said...

I love to read what you write Julie. I am definitely not a writer but I want to cheer all of you on to accomplish your dream. Go Writers! I saw many faces in your comments that I have read their blogs; they definitely have the gift with pen in hand. What can I say but write on girls and Greg and Travis!

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