Lighting the Path of My Writing Journey

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Photograph by Robert Lowman

Genesis 1:3: And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

Genesis 1:4: God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness.

 

 

My writing “career” began inauspiciously enough in high school, where I wrote poetry for the school newspaper. My senior year, I was banned for turning in “risqué” material.

Throughout college, I wrote articles for university newspapers. After graduation, I wrote profiles for different magazines on CEO’ and business owners, while caring for my spouse and two children.

Until my marriage fell apart.

For the first time in my life, I found myself on my own, alone and frightened; a divorced empty nester with only three dogs for companionship. My friends and relatives advised me to get back to my personal interests.

While cleaning out a closet one day, I found a plastic bin shoved in the back corner. Pulling the box, I opened it to find old file folders and envelopes. My literary efforts from the past!  My curriculum vitae, published magazine articles, and an award-winning short story. Thrilled with my new-found treasure, I dug deeper into the bin and discovered an historical romance novel begun when my daughter was a toddler, a horror story from high school, and story ideas and snippets from years gone by. I hugged these to my chest and laughed out loud. The dogs looked at me as if I had gone mad.

Writing was my personal interest!

I surveyed the messy piles before me and wondered how on earth I could renew my writing. Then I remembered a local newspaper I had thrown in the trash. Unfolding the paper, I found the ad for the Christian Author’s Guild.

With trepidation, I went to the next Monday night meeting, where I found nearly everyone there was an accomplished author. These people encouraged me, wanted to see me published, and genuinely wanted to assist in every way possible. I swallowed my fears and joined that night.

Several weeks later, I turned in my first five pages for the fiction critique group, and dreaded that my words would be judged. How bad was my writing? Would they laugh at me? Would they tear my story apart? Would they tear me apart?

They did not! I took the session for what it was – a group of writers looking over my work and making suggestions on getting it published. They liked my story and suggested changes to get it submitted. I walked out of the meeting with hope and joy in my heart.

I was also encouraged to join more than one writing group and get different perspectives on my words. At first I felt I was cheating on The Guild, but I understand that now there are more eyes on my work, more conferences to attend and therefore more opportunities for publishing.

That was over three years ago, and yes, I have since published. My goal is to keep writing and keep publishing, and these groups help tremendously, not only with critiquing, but with information on the newest technology and changing publishing rules. While not every group is a Christian group, every member is a cheerleader for other writers, and each member is expected to write. Period.

Through these groups, I understand now that my talent comes from God. The more I use my talent, the more I please God. The more I please God, the closer I come to His light.

Now that I have come out of the darkness of loneliness and despair and into the Light of God, I have a greater understanding of who I am and what God has intended for me.

The point is to keep “plotting” along.

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