For the first few posts of The StoryWriting Studio, we want to share some of our writing journeys with you.
My writing journey begins. My journey to publication started back in the early 1980s, while we were attending seminary. When my friend, Coralie, told me about a writing for publication workshop that she planned to attend, I found myself envious of the opportunity that had been given her. Since we were living at or below the poverty level with our husbands as seminary students, the only way either of us could have an opportunity like that was for it be a gift or scholarship.
Friend’s encouragement needed. Coralie had heard about the writers’ workshop, applied for a scholarship, and received notice of her acceptance, before I knew anything about the workshop. So, when she told me about it, I knew I couldn’t possibly attend. When she realized my interest, she promised to tell me all about it and give me copies of anything of interest to me. So, after her conference, my interest began to grow, as Coralie walked me through each session of the workshop.
First article accepted. When my husband Dan took a job on staff at the seminary, I took advantage of the free classes available to staff members and their spouses. So, I enrolled in “Writing for Publication” with Dr. Lucien Coleman. My very first article accepted for publication was an assignment that I wrote for this class (an article in Living with Children magazine, now LifeWay’s ParentLife magazine). Then, came several rejections, so I just stop sending submissions.
Long journey from the shelf through school. Since my children were young, and I didn’t know what direction to go from there, all my writings stayed on the shelf for a LONG time! Then, after my kids left the nest, I decided to go back to school to study writing and pursue my dreams again. Five years later, I was teaching freshman composition at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR). [Some people jokingly refer to UALR as "The University of Absolutely the Last Resort," since many of younger students would prefer not to commute to college. But as a nontraditional student, I knew the value of an education! And I was grateful that we had such an excellent university just a few miles from my home.]
Dream of writing for publication. After I had taught a few years at UALR, I sensed that God wouldn’t allow me to let go of my dream to write for publication. So, due to some family crises and spiritual direction, I eventually walked away from the academic world to pursue writing for publication again. And after several years on that journey, I’m finally seeing some fruit from my efforts.
StoryWriting Studio authors share their stories. This week, my freelance efforts led me to join with two of my writing friends, Anita Agers Brooks and Kathryn Graves, to create The StoryWriting Studio. We want to share our writing stories and resources with other aspiring and experienced writers, and we hope other writers will join on this journey.
On Friday (2/24), one of my StoryWriting partners, Anita Agers Brooks, will tell her story, “Why I’m a Writer.” Then, our StoryWriting partner, Kathryn Graves, will tell her story on Monday (2/27). So, stay tuned … we’d love to hear your writing stories, and we look forward to your comments!
What is your story? We hope to hear from you soon!