I actually don't remember starting to write. I've loved writing for as long as I can remember and, from different papers I have around, I guess I started writing as soon as Mom taught me how!
Yes, believe it or not, that's me doing handwriting! As you can see from the 'short story' below that I wrote, (which by the way isn't true) I needed help in handwriting! (I still do actually.)
When I was little, I enjoyed writing, but I was TERRIFIED that someone would read what I had written, so I went to desperate measures!
Have you ever been told you couldn't do something and it made you want to do it even more? Well, let's just say that my threat note didn't stop any of my siblings from trying to 'kidnap' my notebook. So I went through more desperate measures. . . See the tape on the spine? Well, I ruined the original spine from standing on it while doing dishes . . . and since I wear shoes all the time for arch support after my arches fell when I was nine . . . to put it mildly, it was hard on the spine. I also sat on it at meal time, and all kinds of other ridiculous things! Then, one day, I found out that if you don't react to siblings teasing, they won't tease you as much, and so when I stopped caring if people read my notebooks, people stopped wanting to read my notebooks. Of course I still protect them some but . . . Anyway, I started in notebooks with pencils.
I don't know why this picture is turned like this but . . . it gets the point across.
I started wearing out notebooks and pencils and I had a dozen half finished stories and even more half filled notebooks. I remember sitting in one of my cousins' vans with my little purple notebook when I was really little and telling my cousin that I was going to write a book. That notebook had a story about a missionary to Africa in it. As I wrote more and more, I began liking it more and more.
Then one day, I was bragging about how I was going to get a book published, and one of my brothers told me that it would never happen. Now that may seem like a mean thing to say to a twelve year old girl who's trying to write a book but, in my case, that was the comment that lit a fire under me. If for no other reason than to prove him wrong, I had to write a book.
Then, Mom bought me the One Year Adventure Novel curriculum for school when I was thirteen. I wasn't excited about doing a high-school writing curriculum, but once I started, I fell in love with it!
I started what is now known as the 'Adventures of Amy' in these two notebooks. I mostly used a silver glitter pencil that one of my cousins gave me. When I finished it, I typed it out onto our old computer in the attic. . . The one as big as a wheelbarrow . . . the one that took three minutes to move the mouse across the page. . . the one that would occasionally not save my work. . . the one that I learned to type on. Then I switched the document over to one of my brothers' old laptops and re-wrote the entire thing. I eventually got my own laptop and tried moving the document from the old laptop to the new one. Only problem was, the old file wasn't compatible with my new program so, it showed up as gibberish. My oldest brother happened to hear about my problem and although I have no idea what he did, he somehow got it to show up in English. I still had a bunch of re-writing to do to change the format to the way I wanted it but it was there on this laptop.
So I put my old red notebooks away, and the truck sized computer and the thick-as-a-bread-loaf laptop and sat down with my new computer to keep writing.
I was seventeen before I finished that first book and written the two after it. I began editing and thinking about publishing. It was somewhere in there that I learned about writing for God. My motives had been really wrong and after an 'argument' with God, I finally yielded my writing to Him. I had to come to the place where I could say that even if I never wrote or published a book it would be okay with me.
After that point, things just seemed to fall in place. I learned that prayer was a huge part of successful writing and I began to go on spiritual journeys with my characters.
At this point, I'm nineteen, and I have five books self-published, I'm working with a publisher on my next book, and I have many short stories saved away in files all over my computer.
I thank God for the incredible writing journey He's led me on and, although I don't know when He'll call me to stop writing, I know that I want to be in His will wherever that may be. So my challenge to you is, what areas of your life are you doing for yourself and not for God? Are there things in your life that you're holding onto? Give them to God. He may take it away from you, or He may turn it into something WAY more amazing than you could ever imagine, but He will do the RIGHT thing and you'll never regret having given Him your dreams.