A Bit of a Different Bird…

In such a group of diverse and talented women, I feel a slight bit out of place.  That’s nothing new, and doesn’t deter me one bit, but you should probably know what you’re in for.  I’m not like everyone else…well, maybe I am in some ways.

I’m an author.  A writer.  A mom. A hard-headed, strong-willed child of Jesus.  I’ve always known that I would be most of these things.  I started writing (plays of all things) when I was a child.  As the child of a career Navy man, I spent a lot of time traveling, which meant a lot of time sitting still, coming up with ways to occupy my mind.

The first thing that I remember writing was plays for the kids in my neighborhood while we were stationed on the military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  A limited open space with limited amounts of activities leaves kids finding creative ways to fill their time.  I don’t remember now what the plays were even about, but I wrote them and the kids from the neighborhood put them on.   It was fun.

My career didn’t really take hold for many years after that. I wanted to be a writer, but I was cautioned over and over again that it wasn’t possible to make a living as a writer, and as a strong young woman I needed to have a career.  Remember how I said I’m hard-headed?  That’s really an understatement.  The only thing I wanted more than to be a writer was to be a wife and Mom.

This is where my life takes on a path of my own. I started my family young. For a while, I devoted my life to my family, spending time writing only for myself and for a long time.  Eventually, I came back to that other dream.  Thankfully my (then) husband could support our family, so I was able to stay home with my two kids after a while.  I found myself with a bit of time on my hands and started “playing” with writing again.

It wasn’t until I caught a lucky break from a good friend that needed some help that I really began to realize my dream.  Well, sorta.  My friend needed a technology writer and the work I did with her started me on a path that lead me deep into techno-reality.  My first published piece (incidentally NOT technology) was published in 1994.  That break into technology came in 1998.

Since then, I’ve written well over a thousand articles, mostly technology.  Taught hundreds of technology courses online.  And written 19 books; all technology.  But my heart longs for something more.  I’ve always seen myself writing fiction.  And since I found my way back to Jesus a few years ago (that’s another VERY long story) the desire to write Christian fiction (and non-fiction, too) has been the leading force behind my career.  I’m still not published in these areas, but I trust when God is ready I will be, too.

Life recently has taken a strange turn. I’m divorced.  My daughter lives with me; my son lives with his Dad.  And the economy really stinks.  And when the economy stinks, technology usually takes the hit the hardest. So, the writing I’ve been doing to support myself and my daughter for several years is suddenly not enough. I had to take a full-time job.

It was tough.  When I dreamed of having a family, I never dreamed I’d be a single Mom leaving her teenage daughter alone until she got home from work.  I thought I would always be a stay-at-home Mom.  It felt a lot like failure.

Then things started to happen.  Suddenly, I’m writing for Christian venues.  I’m a regular contributor to Bay Area Christian Family magazine. Other opportunities have come up.  I’ve even got a book proposal for Christian singles making the rounds.  God is closing one door, but there are windows opening in every direction.

So, I am a bit of a different bird.  I’ve come to my Christian writing career from a completely different direction than my friends here.  But I’m as excited as they are to learn, to grow, and to let God use my talents for His purpose.  And I’m truly looking forward to the adventure that He has set before me.

9 thoughts on “A Bit of a Different Bird…”

  1. Wow Jerri,

    You always amaze me. The Christian magazine and the book proposal. You’ve been keeping secrets.

    Jerri is in our critique group, but has been too busy to work in the fiction realm lately, and now we see why.

    It’s great to learn a little more about you.

  2. Hi Jeri,

    I always find it interesting to hear the path different writers have taken to begin writing in the Christian market. It’s a testimony about how God works all things together for the good of those who are called according to His purpose.

    I can relate to the coming back to Jesus & the (temporarily for me) single mom parts of your story.

    Best of luck on your proposal!

  3. Welcome Jerri! I call it a horse of a different color (to quote one of my all time favorite movies, “The Wizard of Oz”). But it’s a beautiful color.

    I have to say that in no way are you a failure. You are a failure if you quit, give up or give in. And at times I’m sure we have all felt one or all of those feelings. You are a strong woman warrior fighting your way through the jungles of life. None of us gets to come out unscathed.

    I am so glad you are with us in this journey.

  4. Jerri, it’s great to meet you! I’m so excited to be in on this journey with you. It is amazing, isn’t it, how many different paths God uses to lead us together? I’m looking forward to learning more about you, and wish you the best as you wait to hear from your proposal!

  5. Jerri,

    You may be a bit of a different bird. But then again, I think we’ve all got some feathers hiding in us somewhere! I’m looking forward to where this flight takes you and the rest of us.

    Kim

  6. Jerri, clearly you’re not alone in the “different bird” category. Perhaps all of us writers can lay claim to that title in one way or another. I’m just glad that God has led you to our critique group, and now to Inkspirational Messages. I look forward to hearing more of your story.

    Blessings!
    Brenda

  7. Jerri, you are truly amazing and have already accomplished so much. I love how God has called you back to your first love of fiction, and I can’t wait to see how He blesses you. I can just see you writing those first plays for the neighborhood kids. Have any of them survived?

  8. Hi Jerri

    Somehow I missed your post this morning. I have to say I love technology and technology books. I used to be teased at work because, as part of my job managing our computer systerms, I always read the computer manuals from cover to cover.

    Like you, I was a single mom, raising three kids and working, feeling like a failure. And then God opened up new venues for me in my job and closed them years later. But He opened a new door to His mission field and I took off for parts of the world I thought I would never go.

    Now I have discovered Christian romance fiction and love it. It has opened up new doors for me, again in a direction I never thought would be possible and blessed me with many wonderful Christian friends. I’ve begun to dream big dreams again, even at my age of 69.

    So, don’t give up your dream. I am confident God will use you and your writing to touch others as I have been touched by some of the writers in this group.

    Lynn

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