My name is April and I’m a writer. It wasn’t until recently that I took this title seriously. This is my writing journey.
I’ve been writing since I learned how to print my ABCs. I received my first journal at six years old– a blue Hallmark journal with Snoopy on the cover and a lock and key. To me, it was a treasure.
My Snoopy journal contained my innermost six-year-old thoughts, from complaining about family game night to lamenting that my sister went to see Starlight Express without me. And let’s not forget the “I love Josh”es surrounded by hearts.
It was around this time that I started writing “books.” I had about three going at the same time: a picture dictionary, a rip-off of Sweet Valley Twins, and an autobiography. I abandoned these projects within a few months.
Others started noticing my penchant for writing when I was about 10 years old. Until then, it was just an extension of who I was. I did it without thought. When others took notice, it lit a new fire in me to write.
I wrote a story about a Lost Tumbleweed that made my sister cry. I wrote poetry for a 5th grade class assignment and my teacher asked if I copied it. Maybe I should’ve been insulted by her lack of trust in my integrity, but instead I thought, “Wow-my poetry is a good enough to have been copied from somewhere!”
Part of me came alive.
I wrote for my own enjoyment with a childlike disregard for criticism.
I wrote a terrible story about a girl who fell in love with a Nazi. I filled my teenage journal with angsty poetry about how no one ever noticed my pain. I wrote shamelessly about how I was going to marry Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys, or Christian Bale...or some celebrity that was inappropriately older than me.
Writing saved me from Middle and High School.
During my junior year of high school, I realized writing for a career was a possibility. I decided to major in Journalism when I arrived at college. I never changed my major.
I acquired a job with my university’s newspaper and it quickly got real. I was a nervous wreck chasing after my first feature story. When I secured the needed interviews, I walked away with a confidence I’d never known before. Seeing my name in print for the first time was like the first time I rode a roller coaster– the thrill of a little fear mixed with a whole lot of excitement.
I dreamed of writing books. I dreamed of writing for a magazine. I loved the idea of being a “missionary journalist,” using my gift of writing to glorify God. But, God had different plans for me.
While He was cultivating a love of writing in me, He was also cultivating a heart for the world. God made it very clear to me that He was calling me into missions, at least for one year. But what about writing?
Not yet, my dear. But one day.
One year turned into 13 and my dreams of writing were shuffled under the responsibilities and obligations of life. Then one day last year, I sat in a chair, holding my sleeping baby and thought for the first time in YEARS, “Who the heck am I?” I felt like a ghost in my own life. That’s when I realized I needed to write, if for no one, but myself. Writing is how I process life, how I learn, how I survive. I felt like a shadow moving through the motions because I was not writing.
Through a series of various unplanned relationships and circumstances the Lord confirmed to me, now is the time, my dear!
So, here I am, launching a professional blog and beginning a book. Sometimes it’s terrifying. Exposing your heart and soul is never easy. But, the thrill of obeying God outweighs the fear. I am using the gift He gave me and that’s all that matters-even if I am the only one changed by my writing.