Monday, October 25, 2010

My Journey to Becoming an Author

People have often asked me if I’ve always planned to be a writer.

And the answer is no.

From the time that you are in middle school, people are asking you your plans for life. Your high school course work is geared towards a “track” that will give you the best opportunity to get into the college you want with the program you plan to major in. Ironically, before we are even able to vote, there is a societal expectation to know what we will do with our lives.

I was a good student, and I thought medicine was my calling. I envisioned myself as a career woman by day and wife/mother by night. And, I was confident that was “me.”

When I got into college, I was enamored by the science but I was drawn towards psychology and religion courses even more. I loved the study of relationships and the profound impact of faith lived out in the world. Even more, I found myself preferring to write a 20 page paper to a test any day.

I changed to the religion/psychology double major, thinking that it would make me a more holistic, well-rounded physician to my patients.

After graduation, I was enticed by a biomedical ethics masters degree. This would combine my love of medicine with making right choices in the human experience. And, it provided LOTS of opportunity to write. I loved every second of it.

Once I completed my course work and signed up for the MCAT, I was married and we’d had our first child. And, God was working on my heart. I wrestled with who I really was. After being home with our daughter, I didn’t want to miss out on experiencing every “first.” The person that I believed myself to be in my growing up years versus the person I actually WAS in my adult years was two different people.

At that same time, I began work with Pam Stenzel. I was writing with her from home and cherishing the balance it offered. Over time, responsibilities grew to writing curriculum to asking me to co-author a book.

Suddenly, my love of writing was manifesting itself into a career that provided the opportunity to combine my desire to stay home with my joy of penning words. It was perfect.

Shortly thereafter, I signed with Books and Such literary agency. My book with Pam will be released this coming January, and I have a wonderful literary agent, Wendy Lawton, who encourages and inspires me to set new goals and believe in future projects. I feel richly blessed.

As I look back on the “growing up” years of my life, I’m so thankful for the delayed approach to medical school. I didn’t get out of school and apply right away. For some reason, I felt called to take the “in between” medical ethics step first. During that wait, I had time to really listen to God and let Him reveal who I truly was to me before I forged ahead with a plan that was mine and not of Him. And, I gained insight into topics that could be interesting for future book writing!

God has plans for us that we cannot always know. If you feel like your life has taken odd twists and turns, creating a delay in some plan, take heart knowing that God often uses those delays to provide for your very best. During those seasons, our faith matures and we can better utilize the gifts and talents He has uniquely bestowed upon each of us.

Today I see God’s plan for me to write and co-author this first book, and I could never have dreamed that for myself. It feels too good to be true. But, it is the life God had carved out for me (using the gifts He gave)….I just needed the delay to recognize it and for the timing to be right to achieve it. This career is "me." It is in this career that I can truly flourish and be happy.

So, for those who have asked, that is how I began my writing career, and I pray God blesses it for many years to come. :)


  1. Thank you for the inspiration. I feel a nudging (which has made it to a PUSH) to write a Bible study for teenagers about choices. Please pray for courage and guidance as I began this new season in my life.

  2. I have felt the call to "write" late in life due to many request from friends and blog readers, so as a life long story-teller I am taking baby steps and I admire stories like yours.
    God bless,

  3. Melissa, I at 53 years with 31 years in education as an English teacher and a school librarian am at a crossroads in my life - a crossroads that has been quite a delay waiting to retire. Now that the time is closing in, I feel that God-nudge to write the stories that have been nurted and growing for all of these years. Keep me in your prayers first of all to trust God to be able take that step of faith and to trust God to fullfill His plan in my life. Thank you so much for sharing the story of your journey to become the writer that God knew all along you would be. Sharmen

  4. I enjoyed reading your journey to writing. How encouraging to hear where God has brought you!
    Stopping by from iFellowship! Have a great day!

  5. Great encouraging post. Our delays are displays of God's perfect timing at work. Stopping by via iFellowship.

  6. I love to read of successful people who took "the road less traveled" to achieve fulfillment. It is not in the normal course of events that a seeker finds God - or at least I never found Him there. When I began to seek His will for my path I discovered how I had been completely let astray until then.

  7. New to your blog, by way of Ifellowship. Loved your post & congratulations on the pregnancy. It's amazing what God will do, when we submit ourselves to his will. I pray the Lord will bless you & your family!


  8. So glad you shared your journey. Popped over from iFellowship.

  9. As always Melissa you have blessed my heart! My husband & I are dealing with a pretty big twist & turn and it feels like God is delaying "big time".

    So this quote helped me a ton, "If you feel like your life has taken odd twists and turns, creating a delay in some plan, take heart knowing that God often uses those delays to provide for your very best."

    I'll bake on this all day!

    Happy iFellowship Day!

  10. I loved reading about how God directed your life! I found that every "twist & turn" in my life was all for the best, as well! I'm visiting from iFellowship. Have a great Wednesday!

  11. What an incredible story of God's leading in your life! I have always been able to write, but it wasn't until recently that I have felt God leading me in that direction. I can't wait to see what words He gives me!!

  12. Congrats on your first book! Thanks for stopping by my blog today. :)


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