Avid Readers, Prolific Writers
Though not all children who are avid readers grow up to be prolific writers, there are few such writers who weren’t also lovers of words from an early age. And I am no exception.
I’ve authored/published more than thirty books of my own, plus ghostwritten/edited about 100 others. I’ve also published countless newspaper and magazine articles and stories, devotionals and poems, and I constantly get the question: How in the world do you produce so much on such a regular basis?
Though I give credit to my journalism training and experience, I always go back to my passion for words, which was evident even before I started school. My mom says I was reading the comics when I was three, and my favorite outing throughout my childhood was always a trip to the library. I read voraciously! And if I found myself without something to read, I immediately set out to write my own stories. One such story, which I wrote in the third grade, was turned into a play for the entire PTA—parents, teachers, and students. I was hooked!
I went on to write for the school newspapers and won writing contests throughout junior and senior high school, and even told my boyfriend (now husband) when we were about thirteen or fourteen that I was going to be a writer some day. To be honest, I can’t imagine being anything else.
Of course, the one thing I NEVER wanted to do was public speaking. Surprise! Little did I know that as I ventured out into the publishing world, I would begin to receive speaking invitations. Though I quickly declined, explaining that I did not do public speaking, I soon discovered that my book sales suffered because of it. Hmm… Seemed I had no choice but to get over that common fear of public speaking and just get out there and do it.
Now, amazingly, I enjoy public speaking nearly as much as I do writing, and I do both on a regular basis. But all of it goes back to my love of words and that inborn call to be a communicator. If you have ever sensed that same call—whether to writing or speaking (or maybe even something else entirely)—and you find yourself hesitant to answer, ask yourself if you have an innate love for reading. If the answer is yes, perhaps it’s time to consider the next step.