Friday, June 24, 2016

Flashback Friday: The Beginning of a Writer's Journey

**This post is a part of the new Flashback Friday series. Participants use the last Friday of each month to repost an old post that needed more attention, that you're very proud of, that you think is still relevant, etc. It is hosted by Michael G D'Agostino at A Life Examined. This is my very first Blogger post from September 19, 2010.**
The Beginning of a Writer's Journey
I went to the ladies retreat with my church this past weekend and I came across this sudden inspiration to write. I guess in God’s eyes, it’s not sudden at all, He knows all the seeds He has been planting over the years. I think the very first seed was planted back when I was in 6th grade in Arizona. Through my class' writer’s workshop I first learned about the writing process and different types of poetry, and I found out that I really liked writing. During jr. high and high school, I didn’t get the same enjoyment from writing for my classes, except in my 11th grade English class with the writing portfolios we kept. I did start keeping a diary on a semi-regular basis during high school, and have written in it on and off since then. Those were more seeds for my inspiration. In college, writing became more of a chore, there was always something that needed to be written about in every class, and even many of my exams were essay tests. I started to get tired of writing so much and began to, as they say so nicely, “BS” my way through many of my reflections and reports. Despite these strained feelings toward writing, seeds were still planted from others. My professors would remark on how thoughtful and well-written my reflections were. There was a fellow student who asked me to help write a skit for a group project because she heard I was a good writer. My friends sometimes commented on my cards or emails being inspiring. But at that point in my life and even up until about 2 years ago, I didn’t feel like an inspired, good writer.

Part of my inspiration to write comes from reading good, engaging books. A couple years ago, I hadn’t read anything for a while, and I decided to start back up again. I picked up one of Karen Kingsbury’s books at the library and had no idea what I was getting myself into. For those who haven’t read her books, Karen takes you into her stories in a way that makes you feel like you’re a part of them. I feel like the Baxters are real people who I know personally. There are many other good authors, but the reason I was drawn to Karen’s stories was because those were the types of stories I wanted to write back in the 6th and 11th grades. Realistic fiction: that was the genre I was drawn to; inspiring stories of things that could happen in everyday life. Reading her books revived my desire to write. I started collecting ideas for books or stories by making lists in notebooks, on my computer, in my phone…I had so many ideas floating around that I became overwhelmed with them and had no idea where to begin. So I procrastinated and still did not feel motivated to write, at least not publicly.

Finally I find myself back where I started: with the retreat (everything written beyond my first sentence above was just background information…) The theme was “A Legacy to Remember.” Beforehand, I didn’t really feel like I had a legacy to leave, and being without a husband or children, I had nobody to leave it with. But, God was already preparing my heart for what I’d learn over the weekend. I read a devotional story right before I left on Friday. It was about a girl’s grandmother who wrote thousands of letters to her children and grandchildren throughout her life. It says, “Part of Gram’s legacy was how she lived her life, but part of it, too, was the words she left with us all—words that became an extension of the woman who penned them.” I reflected on the fact that this story mentioned a legacy, which just happened to be the theme of this retreat I was about to leave for. I also began thinking about how much I would love to write more to encourage my friends and family. During the retreat, so many women talked about the legacies that have been passed down through the generations of their families. But, what I noticed the most was the many times writing was involved. Twyla read a story she wrote when she was younger; Darla mentioned the importance of keeping a journal of your thoughts and reflections; Sara brought journals from her experiences in Germany and Mexico. I came to the realization that maybe writing could become my own legacy. After all the encouragement and inspiring moments over the years, my spark was finally ignited. So, I am beginning a journey, one that I plan to share with my friends and family. I don’t really know where this journey is taking me, but I know that I plan to continue on. I want my words to leave a legacy in someone’s life. I don't know if my writing is really that good or not, but I hope these writings are uplifting to those who wish to bear with me through these beginning steps.


  1. I think a writer does leave a wonderful legacy in the words they leave behind. They can be cherished and thought about and meditated upon. I'm sure God will lead you where he wants your writing to go :)


  2. A writer does leave a piece of himself behind in his writing. I might not leave a great legacy with my books, but I hope to with the IWSG.

  3. I often wonder about much of this also. Written word is always a good way to leave a legacy. You never know who will discover it and how it will impact others.

  4. It starts when you are ready to start. Not before. Although, seeds may be planted...

  5. Your post makes an interesting literacy autobiography.


  6. I definitely think that a write leaves a part of himself or herself in their writing :) kind of like a fingerprint.

  7. Writing comes from the heart and all writers leave pieces of themselves in their work. A great legacy, for sure! It was interesting to read how your writing journey began.

  8. I've been blogging over eleven years now. For me, there is nothing like getting a comment or an email that says your words touched me, helped me, tickled me, encouraged me, etc. Words are powerful. After all, our God spoke the world into existence. The word became flesh in Christ. Think of the quote, the pen is mightier than the sword. The sword forces cooperation, but also sews resentment. The pen, if read and absorbed goes to the heart and the mind and can actually change the reader.
    Barbara from Life & Faith in Caneyhead

  9. Congratulations in beginning your journey in writing! When I chose my theme for the A to Z Challenge I thought about leaving a written legacy to my children and grandchildren. My theme is 'My Life is My Masterpiece ~ Lessons Learned'. I'm so glad that I took the time to do AtoZ. Keep up the great work! :)

  10. I remember in high school we were given a series of tasks to write very short snippets of a story (one or two sentences). After each task we'd all read our work aloud and after each of mine there would be a murmur of interest from the group and after one such reading, the teacher said "You must like writing." I blushed and replied "Yeah, a little bit." It was the first time I'd realised that my writing could be powerful.

  11. That is so true--our writing will become our legacy. It's hard work, but well worth it if we tell a story that touches others.

  12. I wish I had journaled more and I wish I still had all of the journaling that I did manage to do. Sadly most is gone. It's nice to have the memories to read back over when the past has gotten a bit hazy.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


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