F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, “Writers aren’t exactly people…they’re a whole lot of people trying to be one person.”
A psychologist might conclude, therefore, that writers have “personality disorders.”
William Faulkner stated, “My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food and a little whiskey.”
Hmmm…does that mean Faulkner had an addictive personality? After all, he said he needed to smoke, drink, and eat while he wrote what we now consider to be timeless classics.
People have been trying to figure out what makes writers tick for as long as the first words were ever penned. What’s more, writers want to understand themselves because in order to express a concept, a theme or message, authors must reach deep within themselves, collect their thoughts, feelings, and beliefs, and then put them into words.
Sounds easy, right? You just take what’s on your mind and scribble it onto a blank piece of paper or type it into the computer.
Well, sometimes it is easy. But then other times it’s an excruciating process.
Personally, I write because I just can’t seem to NOT write. When I was a little girl, I wrote stories and kept a “Dear Diary.” I’ve always been a letter writer. I’d write to my grandparents, aunts and uncles. I even had a “pen pal” who lived in Indiana – these were the days before email. When I’m in between book contracts, I update my blog, write articles, devotionals, and occasional letters to friends and family members. I still keep a personal journal, although I’m not faithful with my entries. However, I believe there’s a little piece of me in all my books, articles, and devotionals.
Writing, for me, has always been a way of gathering my emotions and expressing myself. However, since 1991 when I asked Jesus Christ into my heart, my writing has developed into much more than creative expression. It’s now a way for me to honor God and share a message of hope with my readers. So many people today feel hopeless. Look around: Immorality is a virtual plague. There are broken families strewn across our community. Our young people are experimenting with dangerous, highly addictive drugs – more so today than even during the 1960s. Violence in major cities runs rampant. People in general, myself included, have become more desensitized, thanks to the high graphic and less modest media. And, as for spirituality, most people claim to have some sort of religion, although many haven’t heard or accepted the Good News! To me this proves that people need a supernatural Hope from above. They need a miracle in order to merely survive – believers included!
And that’s why I write. Be it a devotional, a contemporary novel or historical, romantic fiction, I use real-life situations, some that I’ve experienced myself, so my readers can easily relate. I want my stories to be faith in action for whoever reads it, a Christian or non-believer. One time I urged a coworker to read The Scarlet Thread by Francine Rivers and the novel turned around the way my coworker viewed Christianity – Christians, in particular.
Yes, in part, my writing is an extension of me, but I pray it will be a vat of hope, encouragement, and inspiration to readers everywhere.