Friday, September 6, 2019

Created to Write by Melinda V. Inman

Meme with picture of elderly woman.

Created to Write

It’s great fun to write this post today for Seriously Write. The timing is perfect! This is my usual time to write, the first Friday of the month, and yet this particular first Friday is my sixtieth birthday!

The BIG 6-0! That’s right! You read that correctly!

Seriously Write is a site specifically planned and executed for writers like us who take our writing seriously. This special birthday provides a perfect opportunity to address the fact that writers are created by God, woven together in each one of our mother’s wombs with the particular bent that produces a writer. We’re designed for this task, and that’s pretty significant.

My mother taught me to read when I was three, and then, horrified at what she’d done (what would I do in first grade, she wondered), she backed away and gave no further lessons. I loved books. I memorized poems. I drew stories before I could write them. One of my granddaughters started doing this at the same age, and inwardly I smiled, happy to see the writer gene passed down. I’m sure that many of you can relate to all of this.

As the oldest grandchild in a storytelling family surrounded by great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, and the accompanying aunts, uncles, and cousins, I listened to the cadence of a story, enjoyed the roar of laughter that followed the punchline, and carefully noted all the stories told and retold within earshot. Many of these appear in my historical fiction.

I didn’t become a writer. I am a writer. This is how I’m made.

Like you, I don’t know what I think about a matter until I’ve dissected it in writing. Like you, I grow in my desire to write well, and the older I become, the more wisdom I bring to my writing. Aging sits well on writers. It gives us richer experiences and opens doors to the soul previously unexamined.

Some of us were able to jump right into our writing, perhaps majoring in journalism or literature and then embarking on a professional career as a writer. Others took different paths and journaled our way through life before turning to fiction writing when our experiences granted us the space to do so. This was my path. I always knew I would write fiction, but first, I had youngsters to instill with knowledge and to prep for life.

Then there was all the fun of learning to write fiction well, of using Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King until I’d pretty much worn off the cover as I worked point by point through the book. There was the practice of reading all dialogue out loud to hear the unique voice of each character, of learning how to elegantly describe scenes, and of weaving in sights, sounds, and smells. This included tearing apart manuscripts until the writing sang as each lesson was applied.

There were conferences. There was critiquing. There were beta readers.

We all had different ways we approached our careers as writers. We started for unique reasons, just as we write unique stories. There’s only one writer like each of us, and we are it. So, humor me. On my 60th birthday, I’m interested in learning how you knew that you were a writer and what you did about it. Choose one question or more, and weigh in.

How did you get your beginning?

When did you know you were a writer? How did that look in your life?

How did you hone your craft?

How have you pursued this high calling of putting God’s stories into written form?


I'm interested to know how you knew that you were a writer and what you did about it. How did you get your beginning? #seriouslywrite #encouragementforwriters via @MelindaVInman
When did you know you were a writer? How have you pursued this high calling of putting God's stories into written form? #seriouslywrite #encouragementforwriters via @MelindaVInman


Melinda V. Inman

Raised on the Oklahoma plains in a storytelling family, Melinda Viergever Inman now spins tales from her writer's cave in the coastal South. Her faith-filled fiction illustrates our human story, wrestling with our brokenness and the storms that wreak havoc in our lives.


Shattered Illusion and Benjamin's Blessing

Melinda has two projects releasing this fall. One is a novella—Benjamin’s Blessing, Book #2 in a Mafia Princesses and Mountain Men series written with a group of Christian writers. If you loved 7 Brides for 7 Brothers, you’ll love this modern take on the story. Book 0 is already available for preorder at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07V7K4LKS/.

Melinda’s other project for 2019 is the sequel to No Longer Alone—the novel The Shadows Come, publishing near Thanksgiving, just in time for Christmas gifts! All of Melinda’s work, including past titles, can be found on her Amazon Author page at http://bit.ly/MelindasBooks.

You can also connect with Melinda and learn more about her books here:

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Melinda-V-Inman/189731601076470
Website: http://melindainman.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MelindaVInman
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/melindavinman/




20 comments:

  1. Happy birthday and welcome to the sassy sixties!
    My copy of Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King is also well-worn!

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    1. Ava, I'm afraid the sassy arrived much earlier in life. I do sense a certain edge to it now, though, that has a bit of "don't go messin' with me" in its tone. What would we do without that book! Oh my goodness! Thanks for commenting and well-wishing. :)

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  2. Happy Birthday!!! My birthday is 9/25 and I will be 59 years young. I have always wanted to be a writer. I believe the encouragement from my parents and elementary school teachers truly guided me to love reading and writing. :-)

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    1. That's wonderful that you had parent/teacher encouragement. You're passing that kindness on to your grandchildren with your writing traditions. They're blessed. Thank you for commenting!

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  3. Happy birthday, Melinda! I love this: Aging sits well on writers. It gives us richer experiences and opens doors to the soul previously unexamined.-so true! I started writing short stories for my kids when they were little, a mix between Nancy Drew and Goosebumps. They're each about 10 pages long and I still bring them out and read them and get carried away. They will probably never see the light of day, but I enjoy them! Have an awesome birthday, Melinda!

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    1. Sally, what a beautiful way to share truth and joy with your children! I bet that impacted them greatly and that they still remember those stories. What a treasure! Thank you for sharing and thank you for the birthday wishes!

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  4. Happy 60th birthday!!

    I started writing in high school but doubted my ability. That was back when I was a perfectionist and only did things I was reasonably certain I could finish with a degree of excellence. That's why I never did choose creative writing as my major.

    Then after 15 years of secretarial work and being a stay-at-home, homeschool mom, with writing a novel as just one of the pie-in-the-sky dreams on my Bucket List, I heard about NaNoWriMo and decided to try it. When I heard the news that my sister tried to commit suicide one week into NaNo, I quit. My little Christian romance wasn't worth a hill of beans in the long run of life and death.

    But the next year, I felt the Lord telling me I needed to tell my story and my sister's story within this genre. So I wrote, edited, and self-published my first novel. And now I don't want to stop. I'm still writing and learning as much as I can and telling my stories in the guise of fiction.

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    1. I'm so sorry for the loss of your sister. Oh my! What a shock that must have been for you. Of course, that would take all of the joy and desire right out of NaNoWriMo. Of course, you would stop at that point to deal with your loss.

      But, congratulations on then pushing forward out of that sadness and grief. You listened to the Lord when he gave you the assignment of writing that novel. You were brave! You were obedient! Thank you for sharing your story. God bless you, sister!

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  5. Happy birthday! I got my start writing sketch comedy at an improv school!

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  6. Happy Birthday!
    God clearly told me to write and I ignored Him for a little over 10 years. He told me again. At first I responded with, "really still?" Baffl9by the whole thing, but I started a blog shortly after that. I love reading about how He maid us writers. Many Thanks Melinda 8)

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    1. I'm glad you listened! I have a stubborn streak, too, and the Lord often has to tell me more than once. Thankfully, he's patient!

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  7. Melinda, Happy birthday! I really enjoyed reading this article. Although I didn't start on a strategic path to writing and publication until 5 years ago, I've always been a writer. I remember entering and winning a creative writing contest in the third grade, and even remember the story I submitted. But because of my love for speaking which sparked the following year when I began to enter oratorical contests, I ended up placing my concentration there. I majored in leadership communications in college, and still love to move an audience to reflection, laughter, tears, joy, and surprise. Of course, I always wrote my own content and after I started sending devotional type pieces to women I knew, I felt a tug on my heart...a calling...to put my writings out there. So I attended conferences, had a writing mentor for a few years, learned the craft (still learning) and started a blog. I started small by submitting non-fiction articles and devotionals. Now, along with my agent, we will soon pitch my first book proposal. And you know what? Whether I'm speaking or writing, I'm still moving an audience to various emotions. That makes my heart soar!

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    1. That's awesome, Karen, that you found you could move your audience in both ways and that you're gifted to do both! You're the complete package! It's been delightful to read your blog posts and to watch your short film presentations. I haven't seen you live, but I bet you're amazing! You're a blessing to those who read and listen in! Thanks for telling me your story!

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  8. Happy Birthday, Melinda! Welcome to the 60's club!
    I never thought of myself as a writer. The Lord trained me as a Bible teacher (in my 40's) and I loved speaking and teaching. It was people who heard me speak and writer's conferences that convinced me to write ("A speaker has to write and a writer has to speak.") Now, I love it and keep trying to improve.

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    1. I'm so glad you allowed yourself to be convinced! Speakers who write and writers who speak are a good combo for both ventures! Keep pressing on! Thanks for your welcome to the 60's club!

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  9. Happy, happy birthday, Melinda! I love what you said: "I didn’t become a writer. I am a writer. This is how I’m made." Like you, I learned to read when I was super young, about two years old, and from then on I was hooked. Books were my escape and my love language, so naturally I wanted to create them, too. I majored in journalism in college, and I've always made my living as a writer, but my favorite writing is fiction!

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    1. You fit right into one of the categories I included in my examples--writers who know exactly what they want, get a degree in journalism or other writing related field, and then get to work! You're a superb writer, and you've blessed many lives with your words. Well done, Jessica! (P.S. Our mothers' similar methods were beneficial!)

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  10. What a great gift this post is for you and for us. Happy Birthday to you. I never imagined I'd be a writer. I wrote 2 blog posts about it. It's just not who I am. But deep down inside, over the many years (I'm 55), I now see how God has been shaping me. He wants me to write for Him. It started with writing Bible studies, and now it includes my blog, and I'm excited to see what else in thefuture.

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    1. God has you right where he wants you to be Stephen! He's equipping you, and he's leading you! Your Bible studies bless lives, and your blog is insightful and uplifting. Keep up the good work! Thanks for your birthday greetings!

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