“Gnome” being one of the spelling words.
She showed it to her parents later that night and her dad read it, smiled and said, “You are going to become a writer.”
Years passed. The girl kept writing. She filled notebook after notebook with her stories and character sketches. She read hundreds of books – dissecting everything to see how the author made the reader feel the way they did.
Junior year of high school came. So did the stress of figuring out what to do with her life. The girl was confused every way she looked. Friends had high aspirations – law enforcement, veterinarians, dentists, lawyers. She made lists of potential career choices and writing was never on the list.
Finally, her parents came to her and took her out to breakfast. “Why are you not thinking about writing?” they asked her.
The girl had a million reasons not to pursue writing. The slim margin of success. The truth about the “starving writer”. The countless hours bleeding onto a computer and hoping to have a manuscript that people actually liked. No, it was best to keep writing as a hobby and pursue something else as a career.
Her mother looked at her and asked if she would give it a year. One year, her senior year, to see if she genuinely enjoyed it. If she didn’t, there was no pressure. She could pick something else from her list.
That sounded reasonable. So the girl agreed. And signed up for classes in creative writing.
And she discovered her passion.
Her mom traveled with her to writing conferences – renting cars and purchasing airline tickets and sitting through sessions that she cared nothing about purely so she could take notes so her daughter could read them later. The mother talked to editors, met publishers, became friends with the people running the conferences and paved the way for her daughter to meet these people as well. The mom laid in bed at night until far past midnight in a hotel room, listening to her daughter’s endless talking about things she learned, people she’d met, places she wanted to go.
The girl was inspired.
The mom and dad had everything to do with it.
In case you can’t guess, the girl in the story…she is me.
Friends, I don’t think my parents could have ever guessed the crazy adventure God had planned for me when they first started encouraging me to pursue this. Every memory I have of my start in writing is tied directly to them. How my mom would give me hugs when I would be shaking with nerves before meeting with editors. How my dad told me “they put their pants on one leg at a time same as you” when I would be gushing over famous authors and how I could never hope to become one. How Mom and I danced in the driveway as the UPS truck that had just delivered boxes of Miss Match drove away and we saw my very first novel in print.
I am so blessed, friends. So very, very blessed.
But maybe you aren’t so blessed. Maybe your support team when it comes to your writing is nonexistent. Maybe instead of someone holding your hands and encouraging you to put yourself out there, you have people ridiculing you and reminding you of how few people actually “make it”.
Oh, how they are wrong, friend.
Because to be a writer is to merely be a tool in the hand of Jesus – penning the words, sweating the nerves, praying through the word counts that His grace will be the thread that weaves through the entire story.
Maybe your audience will be huge, spanning the globe, changing millions of lives. But maybe your audience will be small. Maybe you will write one thing – one tiny little seemingly insignificant thing – and it will change one person’s life.
And that makes it significant.
So listen to the encouragement. Ignore the critics. If you need to be bolstered up, come here. You are in the midst of friends.