Friday, September 7, 2012

The Day I Decided to Play Writer

So I had my first baby in June and decided it was a good time to write a novel.

Perhaps it was the smell of downy blankets, touch of tender skin, or sound of infant mewing that initiated the sentiment. Or perhaps it was my foggy, sleep deprived brain that conquered all rational thought. Whatever the reason, I found myself staring into my precious son’s eyes somewhere between dusk and dawn, realizing the family stories wouldn’t write themselves. 

I had to write them. 

That Christmas, My six month old and I sat down with dad, and I asked him to tell me the stories I’d heard as a girl in pigtails. The ones I’d listened to countless times while ripping off flat bread and scooping up curry—our family name change, his faith journey and immigration to a new country.

My son cooed on his Nana's (Grandpa’s) knee, and I laughed picturing dad’s bewilderment at having to pay for his own cup after his North American friend asked him to “go for coffee”. I cringed at the thought of him arriving on new soil with nothing but five dollars and a hope of a better life. And that afternoon, with my ears full of tales, I walked away with a new resolve.

I would write stories to leave a legacy for my kids, encourage others, and worship God with the gift He's given me, though I knew nothing about the craft of writing.

Two years and another baby later, I typed “the end” on my first manuscript. I made the mistakes of first time novelists: plotted by the seat of my pants, utilized clich├ęs like crazy, faced a sagging middle, and overused the semi-colon. And in just twenty four months, I faced the incredible highs and lows of the writer life. But, by God’s grace {and the help of faithful critique partners and writing friends}, I finished the novel.

I believe something happened the day I decided to play writer. God birthed a new desire within me--to leave a legacy with words. I’m not sure what this baby means. Publication? Maybe. Maybe not. Accolades? Probably not. Satisfaction knowing I’m leaving stories for my sons and using my gift for God? Most definitely. I don't know what the road holds, but it's going to be an incredible ride.

So, I’ll keep writing the stories God puts on my heart, keeping the reason I began at the forefront of my mind, and I’ll leave the results—the timing—up to Him. 

*this post first appeared on Hoosier Ink, May 2011.


  1. Hi Melanie -

    So that's how you started writing!

    Your blog has touched many hearts, including mine. I can only imagine the impact of a book.

    Susan :)

    1. Thanks so much, Susan! Your words mean so much to me. Thanks for visiting this space!


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