Growing up, I didn’t believe that I had any talents. I liked to read and write in my diary but I wasn’t good at anything. I didn’t realize that my hobbies as a child would help me develop my talent of writing later on as I got older.
I was given my first diary when I was in second grade. I didn’t write in it much and looking back, what I did write was pretty silly. I also couldn’t spell. But as time went on, I continued to write more and more. My diary became my best friend in a way.
I tried many times as a kid to develop a gift of fiction writing but I didn’t have much success. Also when I was in second grade, I came up with a great idea and I decided I was going to write this idea down. Being in second grade, I couldn’t spell. I decided I would make it a picture book but that didn’t work out either because I wasn’t good at art. I finally just told the story over and over in my head before I fell asleep.
When I was in third grade, we had to do a lot of creative writing. My stories were always the longest in the class. At Christmas time we had to write stories and then put a Santa head on the top of our paper and feet at the bottom. My Santa was almost as tall as a small kid. After that, I came home and decided I was going to write a story but nothing came to mind. I figured it was something I was just going to have to do at school.
In middle school, I made another attempt at fiction writing. This story was about a girl that lived in Hawaii. I got the idea from a cartoon. The character in the show wrote a story in her diary about someone from Hawaii so I decided to do the same thing. It was the longest thing I had ever written and I was very proud of it. Looking back though, the plot doesn’t flow and the whole thing is kind of lame. I went back to thinking that fiction writing just wasn’t for me. I was just going to have to accept the fact that I didn’t have any talents.
In high school, I had an English teacher that was having us work on writing essays. She didn’t know me before I started taking her class but she quickly figured out that I was a writer because she had asked us to write a thesis sentence and she really liked mine. I really appreciated her comment, even though I really didn’t consider myself a real writer. I did very well in her class. We wrote two papers and my first one I got an A. The next one I got an A+.
My senior year, I finally got serious about writing. I took the idea that I had had in second grade (it was much more developed at this point) and wrote it in a notebook. I was so proud of it that I actually typed it and printed it. At this time, I didn’t want my parents to get mad at me for using so much paper so I would print it at school. I would only print about ten pages a day because I didn’t want to get in trouble.
After that first real story, I wrote even more. But by then, I needed to start thinking about some unpleasant things. I refused to make an outline because I believe they are complicated and a waste of time. I found that I was having trouble keeping the story flowing and I was losing track of details. I finally decided I didn’t need to make a formal school outline. Instead, I sort of just wrote notes that were indented. I still do this because it works for me.
I also tried just writing on the computer. I thought it would be easier than handwriting it and then transferring it to the computer. I didn’t do this for very long. I actually like writing by hand. And then when I start typing it, I can do some editing. I do even more editing while I am proofreading as well.
College helped me even more with my writing, even though the only writing class I took was English Composition. At school, I got Microsoft Word for my computer. I liked this greatly. Not only was it helping me with my editing, it also helped me do things such as put page numbers at the bottom and to translate words. Another thing I liked about college was the printer. It printed front to back so I used even less paper. And unlike high school, I could print as much as I wanted.
In college, something else happened that greatly influenced my writing. I became a Christian. After that, I wanted to use my gift for God. Now, I am a Christian writer. I use my writing to help others see how to become a Christian. But then God threw something else at me a few years later that changed my writing again.
I was suffering from depression and I was very angry at God because of it. I told Him that He couldn’t use me because of my illness. God just laughed at me though. Through a speaker, God told me that He could use me through my depression. And sure enough, He can. I am now a Christian writer with a focus on depression. God told me that since I know a lot about depression, that I could use this in my writing so that others can understand depression. Since I understand the powerful symptoms and emotions of depression, I am able to put these elements into my characters.
I didn’t become a writer overnight. It took awhile to develop this interest but now, I wouldn’t want to give it up. Writing allows me to express myself. I also get to use my gift for God. I couldn’t ask for a better gift and I thank God for my writing every night.