My love for stories started when I was little, but I’m not sure when I decided to pick up a pencil to write one of my own. Whenever that was, by age twelve, I was working on my very first novel, and I finished it on Memorial Day, right before I turned thirteen.
(Weird date remembering, I know.)
Since then, I started on a journey of learning how to actually write a story, with the help of a writing mentor. Let’s just say that I didn’t know what a point-of-view was until she taught me. The first book that I finished and edited is still sitting in my heart, and is still read (and adored) by my little siblings.
But, that’s not the story that God put on my heart when I was twelve. Let’s just say twelve, because I really don’t know how old I was when I started telling the “Tommy stories”. Around that age, I created the Calman family. Isaac and Anita, the mom and dad, came first, and then each kid (all fourteen of them at the creation), started appearing in my head.
A few years later, the “Tommy stories” evolved into a book. Darkness. Yes, you read that correctly. (Eyebrows go up when I tell people the title.) But before you freak out, hear me out. This is going to be a trilogy.
Darkness. Dawn. Daylight.
See? It works.
I’m learning patience during this process. I wrote the first official draft when I was eighteen, and after editing and all the scary stuff, I gave it up. Don’t ask me why. Call it a two-year writer’s block. I tried and failed to get it published the first attempt, and so I just decided to be done for a while.
Then the summer of 2019 rolled around. I felt God telling me to try again, so … I tried.
It went about as well as the Patriots’ attempt to win the Super Bowl that year. (If you don’t know, just look it up.)
I got stuck on chapter three and though I did work through a few more chapters over the course of a few months, it was I’m-being-stabbed-every-word kind of writing.
Meanwhile, the dream to be a published author kept burning inside. Then COVID-19 happened, and stuck at home, a little overwhelmed with the world, and with, y’know, plennnnnttty of time, I opened the document up again. Or maybe it was always up.
And from early March to late May, I have plowed through, words no longer coming in painful spasms from my fingers, scenes making me shout for joy instead of beg God for answers.
It’s done now. Now it’s time for editing and proofreading (my favorite … not). Then I’m going to try again. Tell myself not to get discouraged. Actually, I’m going to try harder this time.
Because God gave me this gift. I’m not sure yet how he wants me to use it, but it’s not here to hide under a basket.