“For years another dream had been stirring in my heart, a dream that had been dampened by doubts and the logistics of adulthood. My dream was to write.”
I could have written these words myself. They were actually written by Glynnis Whitwer in “Reviving an Abandoned Dream” a devotion from the free e-book from Proverbs 31 called Winning the Battle of Discouragement: 31 Lessons from Writers.
For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a writer. As a child I was a voracious reader (I still try to read as much as I can), and I would write stories anytime I had the chance. I have always loved words. When I was in elementary school I wrote a fairly long story, I even illustrated it, about two girls who discover a hidden treasure. I was pretty proud of it, but as I got older and looked at it again, I thought it was stupid. I remember wondering why I thought I could be a writer, and I threw the story away. Today, I really wish I had that story. I would love to read it. I wish my middle school self could have seen that that was just the beginning and that becoming a writer takes time.
I still struggle with this some today. I don’t feel like my writing is stupid anymore, but I hesitate to promote it or talk about it often. If someone refers to my writing in person, I feel like a deer in the headlights and want to quickly change the subject. And I am lucky, people have always been encouraging, I have yet to experience the internet troll or harsh criticism for my writing.
Even after I threw my first big story out, I continued to write. Throughout middle school and part of high school I would bang away on our word processor creating fictional stories. Unfortunately, those stories are gone too. I didn’t throw those out. The disks were lost in one of our moves. I inherited the word processor and took it to college. We still have it in our garage, but no sign of the disks with my stories.
My writing journey continued on in high school and college via the school newspapers. I had the opportunity to be the editor-in-chief of both newspapers and I loved it. You would think that my career path would have naturally fallen into writing; however, after college I drifted away from writing into graphic design. I worked for a decade as a graphic designer and my writing dreams unintentionally fell to the back burner. Between work, marriage, and having babies, I mostly forgot about my dream to write.
In the mid-2000s the dream was revived briefly when my sister-in-law and I began our own community newspaper. With our newspaper I got to combine two of my favorite jobs, writing and designing. Unfortunately, starting a new business is very difficult, especially when you are raising young children and working full-time, so we had to close our paper after two years.
After that, I began my teaching career. I thought occasionally about writing, but I didn’t really have an outlet. I tried blogging for a short while, but I let my doubts and insecurities get the best of me and quit.
The year 2015 brought my writing dream back into focus. In 2015, through a book launch team, I became part of a wonderful writing group. The group is a place where we share and encourage each other in our writing journeys. We are all at different places in our journeys, but our one constant is that we wish to glorify the Lord with our words. Through that group I realized what I had been missing. I really did love to write and it was something I was supposed to do.
That is not to say it has been all sunshine and roses when it comes to writing. There are so many ups and downs, and to be perfectly honest it can be down-right scary to put your thoughts and words out there for public consumption. Someone in our group coined the hashtag #Jesusismyplatform to help remind us of our true purpose for pursuing our writing dreams. In her devotion Glynnis also writes, “… I became convinced that God was asking me to write for Him. When I finally accepted that truth, my attitude changed. Writing wasn’t just an interesting idea, it was an assignment.”
So here I sit, determined to follow my dream. I want to follow where God leads. I am on assignment for Him.
Photo by Jan Kahanck via Unsplash.