This three-week series of sharing my author story, is in answer to Brent King’s question on my Ask Me Anything post: “I would be fascinated by your personal story…what fueled your passion for…writing and your desire to write.” Here is the author-side of that story.
In Kindergarten, I was asked to read a few pages from our primer in front of the class. I don’t know if my teacher actually said this at some point or if my 5-year-old imagination dreamed it up, but I truly believed she once told me, “Nadine, you are the best reader in the class.”
So when asked to read, I practically jumped out of my seat to prove to her — and to my fellow Kindergarteners — that I was the best reader. The only problem was…I’d had too much water at recess and really needed a restroom break. (See where this is going?)
I squirmed in front of the class, reading as fast as possible so I could be excused. What a relief! I finished the three pages.
“Would you like to continue reading, Nadine? You’re doing such a great job.”
I remember my mental process very clearly at this moment. Read or restroom? Pride or necessity? She said I’m doing a great job. I couldn’t let her down. “I’ll keep reading, Mrs. Haskins.”
So I went on. As I read I thought, Well, maybe no one will notice if I just go right here. Ah, the logic of a five-year-old.
That was not my best day in Kindergarten. But it’s the day that I always think of when I need evidence that my love for reading and all things revolving around the written word started at a young age.
I wrote stories all the time. The Invisible Dad was the first one I remember and it’s lost somewhere in my California childhood home. I tried my hand at poems (“Noah had hippos and bears, and camels eating pears…”) Not my strongest suit.
I was in and out of schools mixed with homeschooling as we moved around the US. If the teacher wanted a paper about an island of my dreams, it had to be in story form. If Mom wanted a paper on medieval times it would, of course, be the rebel princess jousting to avenge the death of her father.
Just before college came, a dear friend, Jennifer Griffith, took me to my first writer’s conference — the Colorado Christian Writer’s Conference. That’s when I learned how much I didn’t know about writing and I made the decision to learn instead of quit. I had the rough draft of a novel under my belt and inspiration to turn it into a masterpiece.
Writers…go to a writer’s conference. It’s like pole-vaulting to a new world of authorhood.
Yet, even after that conference revelation, I hadn’t considered serious writing — you know, to get published. Up until then, I’d planned to write a book and get it bound for my personal library. Maybe I’d share it with my future kids. (Talk about limited dreams.)
College is when everything changed. I found myself in a major I didn’t like (non-writing related) and I grew increasingly passionate about writing. I started imagining and even pursuing a life as a professional author…but then God told me not to write. At least…not yet.
I’ll share that stage of the story with you next week. (You can stay updated on posts by inserting your e-mail into the “Receive My Blog Posts Via Email” box on the sidebar — top right.)
Okay, so what can you take away from this. My story is nice and all, but there needs to be application right?
- Authors: go to a writer’s conference. There are big and small ones, and probably one or two in almost every state. Look for one and attend. They can be intimidating at first, but they transform authors and build community.
- Don’t limit your dreams. It took me a long time to learn to dream big. I used to think writing only for myself was enough reason to devote hours to penning a novel. It’s not. God has much more fun with big dreams. 😉
When did you first find your love for reading or writing?
Authors: have you attended a writing conference yet?
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