Saturday, January 06, 2007

Dear Diary -- When the Journey Began

Dear Diary,
Today we made a club and it didn’t get
finished. That’s too bad.

Good night, now.

Words taken from a diary kept when I was eight years old. Fast forward seven short years to a diary entry made at age fifteen:

I haven’t written for a long time, but tonight I just
have to write something.
Ever since that long ago day when, as a third grader, I received a diary for Christmas, I’ve been writing. Back then, my entries involved unfinished clubs and other eight-year-old-like activities. Later, boys entered my life, and the focus changed. Yep, that’s what I just had to write about in the second example—boy trouble.

But the point is I just had to write. I couldn’t help but write. I’m still writing today. I now call my diary a journal, but I write a prayer to God everyday. When I don’t begin my day this way, nothing seems quite right. I need that quiet time with Him as much as I need to shower and brush my teeth each morning.

I first thought my writing journey began when God put the bug to write for publication in me in the early nineties. Now I realize it began almost at the same time I was learning cursive! It’s been a road with a lot of detours as I struggled with other issues in life, but I kept being pulled back to the main road--the writing road.

A few days ago I came across an old fiction manuscript. One I thought at the time was good enough to submit to a writing contest. One look at the work showed me why I didn’t win. It was awful! I remember feeling frustrated back then because I was receiving so many rejections for my writing when people were saying how good it was. Now, I praise God my work wasn’t picked up. I wasn’t ready yet, and I’m still not today.

Last night I participated in an on-line chat at the Dancing Word website with Susan May Warren. Susie is a very gifted writer whom God has blessed. She is willing to teach what she’s learned about writing to other writers. Last night’s lesson involved writing dialogue, and we were able to submit a short scene to her for analysis. I came away with so many ideas to make my little scene come alive. I can’t wait to get to it and to others like it in my story. That's a key to writing success. Attend classes, be willing to put your work out there for help, and apply what you've learned.

I want my journal entry to someday read: Dear God, today my book was published. With your help, I finished it. To Your glory! Amen.

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