Why I Write…

Some people wake up one day with an idea and decide to write a book. They publish, sell thousands of copies, and then they’re done. They never feel compelled to write again.Some days I wish I could stop writing. Stroll through a museum or a park without etching every detail into my mind for reference. Enjoy a dinner out without eavesdropping on conversations for dialogue clips. Or savor a sunset or a river cruise without wondering how I’ll describe my experience later in paragraph form.

It’s annoying. Obsessive. But I can’t stop. Writing is integral to who I am.

I started writing when I was seven. I journaled about pizza nights and visiting Grandpa and Grandma and what my best friends said at school. When I was nine, I wrote my autobiography. It was short but typed with splotches of Wite-Out smeared across each line.

When I was eleven, I started a novel—a mystery about an old house and some detective kids. About fifty handwritten pages into it, I quit because I didn’t have a clue where it was going. But I fell in love with the creative process. I wanted to write fiction.

In sixth grade, I wrote a weekly newsletter for my class. By high school, I was writing for the school newspaper and yearbook. And when I graduated, I wrote articles for my hometown newspaper to help pay for college—a journalism degree, of course.

You get the idea…

After college, I pursued a career in public relations and wrote hundreds of press releases and nonfiction articles. Not long before my 30th birthday, God prompted my heart to begin writing fiction again, and so I began to write in small chunks.  Ten minutes before breakfast. An hour at a coffee shop or while my girls napped. For as long as I could stay awake at night. Then I thought about my next idea as I ate lunch, pushed the stroller, and shopped at the grocery store.

I wrote three complete novels (and edited them multiple times) before my first novel was together_flat_390contracted by a publisher. Together for Good was inspired by the failed adoption of some of our best friends even as we were struggling to finalize the adoption of our oldest daughter. It was my way of trying to make sense of how God could use a heart-wrenching situation like a failed adoption for His good.

It took seven years from the time I began writing fiction as an adult–and many manuscript drafts–until  my first novel was published. Then I contracted to write Going for Broke about a woman addicted to gambling and eventually began writing historical fiction as well.

I have been writing 1-2 novels per year for more than ten years, and I am grateful to be able to share the stories that God has put into my heart.  He gave me this passion…desire…dream. But even if I never publish again, I’ll keep writing the journal entries and stories and articles like I did as a kid. I can’t help myself…