I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Friday, August 6, 2010

When Did You Know?


I've heard many writers say they've wanted to write from the time they learned to form letters. 

Not so in my case.

I've always had a passion for reading. I love everything about books--the embossed titles, the glossy covers, the scent of paper. Growing up, I was always found with my nose buried in a book. Reading was my escape when my world was turned upside down.

The desire to write, however, didn't hit me until I was sixteen. I had finished reading Danielle Steel's The Promise. My angsty teenage heart was all a flutter at The End. I've always been a happily ever after girl. I decided I wanted to create that same "aww" for others. Thus, my writing journey began.

My first attempt at writing was a story called The Boss's Son written in my spiral bound notebook. At that time I was working my way through my friend's stash of First Love From Silhouette novels. Anyone remember those? Very popular teen sweet romances in the 80s.

Anyway, my characters in The Boss's Son had turmoil because you guessed it--the girl had fallen in love with her dad's boss's son. I remember the character's father asking her mother if she had seen his green tie. Riveting stuff. Ahh, learning experiences. 

After high school, I majored in fiction writing. Little did I realize God had laid this foundation for my life years before my life-changing decision.

God has given me a desire to create characters that touch readers' hearts. This is my ministry. He continues to polish and refine me through life experiences--some not so pleasant, but it's all part of His Plan, His Purpose for my life. 

So, what about you? When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Don't forget to click on our CONTEST tab for details about the August contest! You don't want to miss a chance reading about PJ Sugar's adventures. 


Lisa Jordan

30 comments:

  1. I love to read about when other writers started writing. thank youf or sharing your story:) I always wrote short stories since about fifth grade and through high school.But it wasn't until I owned a Christian book store that the thought to write a book entered my head. I didn't know what I was doing but wrote away and still cringe when I look back at my work. I really got serious about five years ago at the encouragement of a good friend and my husband and started submiting nonfiction stories for publication. Then I took the fiction plunge.

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  2. Terri, do you still own your bookstore? I'll have to pick your brain once I get to the book in my series about a bookstore owner...three books before I get to that one.

    You know, I cringe when I see my older work, too, but I'm so thankful for God's provision in giving me incredible mentors. I've learned so much through My Book Therapy and Susan May Warren's oh-so-patient teaching.

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  3. Like you, Lisa, I've loved books all my life. I always wanted to be a writer but let life get in the way. Then one day these people came to live in my head and refused to go away until I put their story on paper. Great post!

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  4. Lisa, I enjoyed your post. I have wondered what's wrong with me that I didn't always want to be a writer (since the time I learned to read :)). I'm glad I'm not the only one who "came late to the party." I read a teen age book I should not have been reading (which SHALL remain nameless), but something about that book instilled a desire to write within me. I was in eighth grade at the time. I'm only now getting serious about it because I never really thought I could do it. Like Terri, a good friend and my husband have encouraged me to step out in faith. as I ponder the story on my heart, I will see what God plans to do with it. Thanks for sharing your post!

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  5. Ohhh, I love when you share things, LJ. You have such a way with words.

    For me, I've enjoyed writing all my life, but have "failed to make time" for it until recently. I remember in first grade a friend and I were going to be famous authors. We'd sit on a blanket in the sun and plot our brilliance day after day. (It only took me twenty years to realize you actually have to PEN that brilliance. Or type, as the case may be). Over the years, we slowly lost touch, and like I said, I'd forgotten all about my first grade dreams. Enter facebook, and finding said friend. One of the first things she asked me, did you ever write anything?

    Yes and no. I'd written short stories, but had never embarked on the novel journey. Thankfully, Susie May Warren and her My Book Therapy Retreats got me going. Now I'm well on my way, with amazing friends by my side.

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  6. Pat, even when I tried to quit writing (only on days that end in Y), the voices still clamored to be heard! So glad you're putting them on paper now. Look where you're headed!

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  7. When I was 16 (that must be a pivotal age, huh?), I started writing THE sequel to "Gone With The Wind." Never got beyond the prologue. :) Since I love books, I decided to become a librarian. It really wasn't until the last few years that the voices in my head started demanding attention again. I started with fanfiction (Sue Thomas: FBEye), and now I have a completed manuscript to take with me to ACFW.

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  8. Jeanne, I read a lot of books in my teen years that I shouldn't have read, but they stoked a desire to write deep within me that I was not able to smother. Now I'm more particular about my reading choices and that fire to write continues to blaze. Thanks for sharing your story. :)

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  9. Amy, even though you lost touch, God brought that friend back into your life to ignite that dream again. I'm so thankful you're writing. Otherwise, you'd be depriving the world of great writing!

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  10. Regina, I'm so excited you completed your manuscript. Can't wait to meet you. If you don't have any dinner plans for the free Saturday night, consider signing up for the My Book Therapy pizza party. Space is limited, so if you want to do it, do it soon. http://www.mybooktherapy.com/index2.php/pizza-party/

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  11. Ahhh, Lisa, you take me back years! Like so many others, I was a bookworm for the get-go, cutting my teeth on the Nancy Drew series. English was my favorite subject in school, and I actually liked all the writing assignments, grammar made sense, etc. But stories swirled in my head even during my teen years, only I didn't know then that the Lord intended me to write them down.

    I spent many years writing non-fiction like magazine articles and handouts for Sunday school. I wrote a lot about the folks we met in South America during the 11 years we lived in Bolivia. A small non-royalty paying publisher asked for permission to print some of my Sunday school stories in a small book for children.

    It wasn't until 2007 that I wrote my first full-length novel. I finished the first draft in about 6 weeks but had no clue what I was doing. Even so, it was a semi-finalist in Operation First Novel. That gave me enough thrill validation to press on. Thankfully, I found My Book Therapy. Not only did I get great teaching, but I met my wonderful Pondering friends!

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  12. By the way, Regina, congratulations on winning our kick-off contest! All those lovely items will be making their way to your mailbox for all parts of the country!

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  13. Thanks so much! I'm excited to be a winner, but even more excited to have found all of you!

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  14. Jeanne, You can do it! The My Book Therapy site has great articles to get you started.

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  15. I was an avid reader as a kid. My mom taught me to read at age 4 - and would get books for me from the Seattle bookmobile, a van that came to the suburbs (in 1952) every 2 weeks. From that point, I read and read. I was a teenager and loving english comp when I realized I wanted to write. But it took a lot of years for me to really sit down and begin. I'm at the beginning of my first fiction book right now!

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  16. Congrats, Renelle, that's awesome that you are starting to write you first fiction book! Keep at it! You can do it.

    Teri....ah, sigh of contentment. Nancy Drew. My office is full of the very classic looking Nancy Drew books from the 50s. Thank you, Mom. Now I want to reach around and start The Clue in the Old Album, again.

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  17. Teri, there's something magical about getting lost in the pages of a novel. As readers, we can visit mystical lands such as Narnia or Oz, don crowns and be European royalty, solve mysteries, chase pirates, and fall in love over and over again.

    And now we can play a role in sharing that magic with our readers. You've come so far in just a couple of years!

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  18. So, I posted a link on my facebook to your blog, Lisa, and included my own love for Nancy Drew and am just now reading these comments...and am realizing I am so not alone in my Nancy Drew past. And Amy, in my writing room I've got a bookshelf full of yellow-spined Nancy Drews too!

    Honestly, I don't know when I knew I wanted to write. As far back as I can remember, it's what I've said I wanted to do. Maybe that's just a natural thing for a book-lover...to want to create something as wonderful as the books you love...(or maybe I just got bored of cornfields and felt the need to imagine adventurous stories and transfer them to paper...interesting, then, that the story I've let consume me lately takes place smack dab in corn country!)

    Wonderful post, LJ. Made me think back to my staff meeting yesterday. I have the joy of working for a Christ-centered ministry, so we start all our meetings off with devotions. Yesterday we talked about how when we surrender our lives to Christ, he plants dreams in our hearts...and so it's actually a form of obedience to embrace and pursue those dreams...cool!

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  19. Renelle, we lived out in the country when I was growing up, so the Bookmobile was a mainstay for my reading pleasure. Loved it! Great memories of spending an hour each month picking out just the right books to last until the next month's visit. Unfortunately, budget cuts stopped our Bookmobile from serving the outlying parts of the country. Thank you for sharing your memory.

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  20. Amy, I loved Nancy Drew book. The Mystery of the 99 Steps. I couldn't understand why Nancy's friend had a boy's name though. I get it now, but as a child, it bugged me. :)

    Did you know Carolyn Keene was a pseudonym for a group of authors who wrote the books?

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  21. Melissa, another Nancy Drew fan! I wish I had my old Nancy Drew books. I borrowed many of them from my cousin, but I did have a few of my own. They got lost in my travels, I guess. So sad. My boys have some of the Hardy Boys series that I won't let them get rid of.

    You're so right about being obedient to pursue those dreams.

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  22. Great post Lisa!

    I thought about it in 5th grade when the teacher seemed to be so impressed with my poems and things but it wasn't until I was ready to graduate high school that I thought really hard about it. Then one day I was sitting in the back of the church trying to hear God about my life and in a moment I knew that I was called to write.

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  23. No way, LJ! I didn't know it was a pseudonym. Guess I would have gotten that one wrong in Jeopardy!

    Ginger, hello, my friend! How are you? I miss our brainstorming sessions!

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  24. I always wanted Nancy Drew to hook up with Frank Hardy. I thought he'd be a better fit than Ned. :-)

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  25. Okay, I'm going to date myself here, but in sixth grade when space exploration took place I wanted to write a book about growing up during the age of space exploration, but since Homer Hickman beat me to it with "Rocket Boys" which was made into the movie "October Sky", I decided to move into romantic suspense. LOL

    Well as with most people, life got in the way. Working full time and having 4 kids writing was put on my AC list. The AC list is the parents "Bucket List" or "After Children" list.

    On that list I wanted to finish off my degree...Done. I wanted to learn to play the piano...Done. And I wanted to write a book. I've written 3 full manuscripts, so I guess you could say its done, but then I so wanted to get published.

    The next thing on my "AC list"??? I want to sing the National Anthem at an Indians Baseball game! Go figure!

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  26. Jennie, awesome list, awesome progress.

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  27. I'm so glad that I'm not the only one who loved Nancy Drew books! I couldn't get my hands on them fast enough as a girl. :) Interesting to know that Carolyn Keene was a pseudonym! Lisa, I'm MUCH pickier about what I read now too. :) Teri, thanks for the encouragement to look on the MBT site. :) You can laugh, but lately, every night as I brush my teeth, my husband finds me sitting at the computer reading archived blogs. I am so looking forward to the MBT retreat in October, where I can learn more about the art of crafting writing (or something like that!)

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  28. Tied up much of day reuniting w/ a friend I hadn't seen since she was 18 (she's now 32 and amazing,) awesome experience. Just now treated myself to today's blog and comments, so refreshing. I love hearing what got you writing and pondering, Lisa, and everyone's responses. Thanks for sharing

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  29. I too am a Nancy Drew fan! My parents thought I needed the hall light on because I was afraid of the dark...but I was actually needed it to finish whichever book I reading. I love that every chapter was a cliff hanger, so you couldn't possibly ever put one down!

    I was writing stories from the time I could hold a pencil...I've had voices in my head for as long as I can remember. I knew what I wanted to do for sure in 8th grade when our English class had to write mysteries. Most students had 10 or 12 pages typed out. Mine was 47 pages, and I hadn't even gotten to the end. So I had to summarize how it would end so I could turn it in!! I went to University to major in creative writing, but my sophomore year had a professor who told me my writing lacked depth and if I wasn't willing to include more adult content (i.e. sex, drugs, etc.) I would never make it as a writer. So I quit writing, quit college, and went to Cosmetology school. I loved doing hair, but here I am, twenty years later, trying to return to my first love.

    And for you Jeopardy candidates...The Stratemeyer Syndicate, who oversaw the writing of the Nancy Drew books, was also responsible for the Bobbsey Twins and the Hardy Boys. I loved all three of those series, but I REALLY loved Trixie Belden...anyone else ever read about her and her group of mystery solving friends? I could relate to her because she reminded me so much of myself. That series was also written by a group of ghost writers (unrelated to the Stratemeyer group) under the name Kathryn Kenny. Check them out!

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  30. Lisa, I loved reading about your journey, even though I knew much of it. But, even more, I loved reading about all the other journeys posted here. I've always loved books and wanted to be a writer, only I majored in journalism instead of following my heart into fiction from the beginning.

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