Karen Jordan

Why Do I Write?

Photo/TaraRoss

“Why write?” Mary Larmoyeux asked that question to us her post last week. So, I wanted to answer her question with a revised version of my initial post on this topic.

Beginnings. 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. 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 Coralie 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. 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. 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 became discouraged and insecure about my writing skills, and I stopped sending queries and submissions.

Long journey. Since my children were young at that time, 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 referred 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.

New Direction. After a few years as an adjunct writing instructor 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 sensed God leading me away from the academic world to pursue writing for publication again. Now–after several years on that journey–I’m finally seeing some fruit from my efforts.

Waiting Room. I’m still waiting to see my first book published, although I have contributed to several book projects. And I still teach writing workshops when the opportunities arise.

Building a platform for my writing endeavors continues to bring new challenges every day–new technologies, social media, speaking opportunities, book proposals, marketing, time management, and blogging.

Question. Why do I write? As I ponder that question, I identify with quote from Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire (see video below), “… I believe God made me for a purpose. But he also made me (a writer). And when I (write) I feel His pleasure.”

Why do you write?

YouTube/ogcl1234 (scene from “Chariots of Fire,” Eric Liddell)
Photo/TaraRoss

What is your story? We hope to hear from you soon!

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6 thoughts on “Why Do I Write?”

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