Tuesday, November 17, 2009
My Beginning as a Writer - Shepherd
Kimberly asked yesterday, “How did you get your start as a writer?” For me, it began in school. In the sixth grade, I had an English teacher who insisted that we write an essay each week. Every Friday we were to bring our essay to class. It was a great discipline. Her positive responses to my essays, made me believe that I might be able to write.
One of my passions, even at that age was reading. I always had a book nearby, so that I could escape into the adventures they provided. I am not sure when the shift took place, but at some time, I became more intrigued by non-fiction than fiction writing. I think it was tied to the development of my faith. Books nurtured my faith. Not only the Bible but also the writings of Christians who were authentic helped me realize the value of my faith in shaping who I am.
As a young adult, I read the books of Catherin Marshall, specifically Beyond Ourselves and Something More. She introduced me to ideas that were more powerful than fiction. They changed me from within, as I began to understand more about trusting God and living the adventure of learning to walk in obedience to Him. I discovered the opportunities He provides each day for interactions with others, in His presence. Reading such powerful writing stirred within me, the desire to touch the hearts of people with God’s love in the same way. Slowly my dream of writing was born. I wanted to write to make a difference in the lives of others, to help and encourage them the way that my mentor, Catherine Marshall had done for me.
The opportunity came after I had begun to work in full time ministry. I was required to complete a course of my choice in my first year of ministry and I chose a course on creative writing. During a visit to our town of the editor of one of our denominational publications, we talked about my writing and she suggested that I submit some of my pieces to specific denominational periodicals. I did so, and to my amazement, they chose to publish them. It grew from there, and as I continue to write the fire still burns within me, to make a difference in the lives of others, by encouraging them to see God at work in their lives and in our world. In doing so for them, my own faith is strengthened, as I know that the source of my creativity is the Great Creator.