Journey of a Writer

Incredible JourneyI’m participating in the writing contest, You are a Writer, hosted by Bryan Hutchinson at Positive Writer. This is my story:

It began with a journey—an incredible journey.

For many years, I couldn’t pinpoint the exact time when I knew I wanted to be a writer. I thought it had happened as a seventeen-year-old high school senior when I penned a novel on notebook paper. However, it began years earlier when I wrote several poems and scribbled a few stories.

At an early age, I became an avid reader—inheriting the desire from my father. I took full advantage of the school library and checked out books on a regular basis.

And I always loved hearing a good story. My mother was a wonderful storyteller, and I loved listening to her weave her tales. On occasion, she would make up a story at my request, but most of them were true life experiences.

I also had an active imagination. Growing up in the country, with only a few close neighbors, I learned to entertain myself. In those days, we had two or three TV stations, so that wasn’t my main source of entertainment. I much preferred adventures with imaginary friends and exploring the woods near our house.

So, what does all this have to do with me becoming a writer? In fifth grade, I read Sheila Burnford’s The Incredible Journey.

 This story of three family pets on a journey across the vast Canadian wilderness intrigued me. I loved the author’s vivid descriptions of the north woods. I felt as if I were with those animals as they travelled in search of their home.

After high school, I allowed life to get in the way of my dreams. I shelved my idea of becoming a writer with my tattered copy of Sheila’s book.

But I still loved stories. I often go into intricate detail in my conversations with others. One day, a co-worker said, “You should write a book.”

By then, I owned a computer, so I wrote bits and pieces. I had lots of ideas for stories (still do), but I never shared my work with anyone for fear of rejection. I thought I would never be “good enough”. Later, when another co-worker repeated, “You should write a book,” I thought perhaps they were on to something.

I took two giant steps forward. I signed up for some on-line writing courses through the local junior college. Then, I spoke with a woman from church, Rhodema, who was a writer and editor for the women’s ministry magazine and blog. She asked to read a devotion I had written.

I sent it. Another big step. A few days later, she emailed back, told me the story pulled her along, and that she had to do very little editing. Next thing I knew, she posted it on the church blog. My writing career had officially begun.

Rhodema and I became best friends. We started attending writing conferences and workshops. We visited some local writer’s group and began one of our own. I started a blog. Slowly, I began submitting work to other sites and publications, although I still struggled with the thought of “I’ll never be good enough.”

Reading The Incredible Journey was the pivotal point in my desire to become a writer. It made me want to write stories that take readers on their own journeys—stories that transport them into times or places they have never been. Today, I can’t imagine not writing.

And it all began with a journey—an incredible journey.

  • Enjoyed reading your journey. I find it interesting that many of us realized while we were young that we had the passion for writing. So glad you shared your story.

    • I often wonder if writers were born that way or if we develop. At any rate, a large majority of us realized at an early age. There’s just something inside of us that makes us “have” to write. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  • I love that story! No wonder it inspired you to become a writer. Great post Joan, better late than never, right?

    • Confession – I still own the book and I’ve read it as an adult. 🙂 And yes, nothing like waiting until the last minute for Bryan’s contest.

  • That’s beautiful, Joan! Thanks for sharing it. 🙂

    • Thank you, Anastacia!

  • Caryn Jenkins Christensen

    And now…you are officially, “Joan Hall Writes”! Isn’t it neat how God puts people in our path, in every season of our lives, that encourage us to do the things we’re gifted in ? Thanks for sharing this sweet story or your beginnings as a writer.

    • Caryn – God does have His perfect timing, doesn’t He? Thank you for stopping by to read.

  • Joan~visiting from Solio Deo Gloria. Your journey to becoming a writer was definitely incredible and wonderful to read. I think the Lord puts the spark in us at sometime, although I can’t remember wanting to write until I was in high school and became a member of the school paper.
    It’s interesting to see where they spark was first ignited. I think it gives us more hope in our current writing. I like that you took it slowly. That speaks to me.
    Blessings,
    Janis

    • Hi Janis ~ I’ve often said the writing life is a journey – sometimes it takes unexpected twists and turns, but that’s part of the adventure. Thank you so much for your visit.