Every author knows the exact moment they decided to be a writer – whether it was a dawning realization or a slow, steady development throughout the years. I was 12. Aside from the normal life hurdles presented in the sixth grade, I got my first horse and started showing in local 4-H shows. I spent all my spare time with my horse, a chestnut Arabian mare with an attitude. But I didn’t care – she was all mine.
Meanwhile, my sixth grade teacher spent her time and energy in sharing her love for the written word. She encouraged us to read and read some more. So I did. That’s when the itch began. While I devoured every book around, I started reading inspirational fiction – Francine Rivers, Lisa Tawn Bergren, Linda Chaikin, Robin Jones Gunn, Patricia Rushford and so many more.
A little story formed in my mind and soon I had it down on paper. I wrote about a horse trainer (of course) who takes on a new (and handsome) client, who discovered an abandoned Arabian stallion. But this stallion is more than he seems, with incredible potential. She works with him to reach the Nationals Arabian horse show, all the while battling a crazy ex-boyfriend who stalks her and confronting her feelings for her newest client.
It really wasn’t anything special. I knew nothing about deep POV, proper character development or the evils of too much backstory. But it was all mine. Some 60,000 words of my own creation. I knew I must write more!
I toyed around with the story some, but eventually began a new project in high school. I dove into historical fiction and found my true calling. I started the project now titled Dreams of Yesterday – the WWII trilogy about a woman’s struggle to find a stallion for her Arabian breeding farm. I’m sure you see the theme here…
Years after my first novel in sixth grade, I took the manuscript, all printed in a cutesy font and bound in a three-ring binder, to my teacher. Bless her heart, she took it and read it (I know it must have been painful!) and gave me the encouragement to keep pursing my passion. I credit her with implanting the desire to read, which gave way to the yearning to write.
If you know of anyone, no matter the age, with the inclination to write, do your best to encourage and support them. You never know how one moment can lead to the dawning of a dream.