“ I want to go on living after my death! And therefore I am grateful to God for giving me this gift, this possibility of developing myself and of writing, of expressing all that is in me.”
When thirteen –year –old Anne sat in her dark and damp hiding place and wrote in her red-checkered diary the daily events in 1942, she never envisioned her entries to turn out into a book published in countless languages and editions or be adapted for the stage and screen years later around the world. She simply wrote to pass the time and to keep her sanity in that tension stricken surroundings.
Many of us have our old journals stacked up in some shelf in the corner of a room or stuffed inside bottom drawers or a box under the bed. Though rarely we dream of something great turning out of our daily entries like Anne Frank’s , we can take pride in knowing that some of what we’ve written in our journals had somehow found their way to appear in publications with our names on them. From time to time, I like to amuse myself by going through some of my old journals.
Just last week, I flipped through the pages of my journal titled Writer’s Journal, and found my first entry to be "My First Christian Writers’ Conference." Dated 29/09/2000 and covered in ten full pages, the entry gave a detail account of the ICWF Fall conference 2000 I attended.
Starting with my 6:00 am Greyhound bus ride from Saskatoon to Edmonton, it went onto say how appalled I was to meet with writers for the first time, and to learn from great authors like Janet Oke, Linda Hall, Maxine Hancock and Phil Callaway.
The following pages which went on to describe my state of mind on seeing Our Family magazine with my poem, "Am I A Christian?" on the display table, signing up for poetry reading and fidgeting about it minutes later, the nerve-wrecking experience of reading out my poems in front of 200-300 established writers at the Peanut Butter and Jam Session, and then hearing Linda Hall compliment me from the podium at the next day session made me to retrace and relive those unforgettable moments.
On 20/03/2001, I wrote, “Surprise, surprise, surprise!!! ……I couldn’t believe what I saw when I tore open the yellow manila envelope with the Inscribe stamp. Under the heading, Special Assignment Winner, my name flashed back in bright black letters. Never, never did I dream of winning the assignment, and when I finally did, I couldn't find enough words to express my thanks to my Lord. It’s another milestone in my writing path and God in His mercy has helped me to achieve it. I desperately needed that $30 and now God has granted my wish to get it.” -A Page From My Journal gave me the win, and got published in Fellowscript in early 2001.
On 06/06/2001 I wrote, “ Never expected to see an e-mail in my inbox when I clicked on the laptop today. I didn’t even have my glasses on when I punched the keys. So, when I saw an e-mail in my inbox addressed, “ Dear Sulochana,” I had no clue what that was about because the writing on the screen looked so blurry. So, I dashed upstairs in a few steps and ran back and looked up again, now with my glasses on.
I could hear my heart going thodum-thudum; my hands were getting sweaty and shaky. Finally when I found out what was the e-mail about I couldn’t breathe for a second or two. It was as if I’ve won a lottery ticket. To get my article accepted by the Edmonton Journal for the page, "Offering," was a great leap for me. More than getting published, I was overjoyed by the thought that my message was getting out into the world. Becoming too busy for the Lord, even in the church is very sad and that’s what my article was about. Well, I’ve reached another milestone in my writing path at a moment when I’ was getting doubtful about my writing skill."
My article was published in Edmonton Journal on June 23, 2001 with the title Frantic pace Prevents a Closer Walk with God.
On July 21, 2004 around 6:00, I wrote, “When I saw Elsie’s e-mail on the listserv on May 5th,stating that Martha Anderson had decided to take a break from writing the devotional columns and Inscribe is on the look-out for another Devotional Columnist for Fellowscript, something started to stir within me. A deep yearning from somewhere gripped me with an iron fist and wouldn’t let go of my heart until I decided to apply for the assignment. Elsie has beautifully ended her e-mail saying that she knows that someone out there is Lord’s choice for the posting and as such to consider it prayerfully and to submit a couple of sample writings.”
Despite my inner critic’s hissing of the fact. I could never fill the shoes of a veteran Inscriber like Martha Anderson, I submitted my sample devotional on June 6th and awaited impatiently. Three weeks later, I received a congratulating note from Elsie to say that Inscribe had chosen me to be the columnist.
It surprises me today, why I had omitted recording any of my rejections. Probably the sting of rejection may have been too disheartening that I chose not to revisit them again. I found a page with written goals instead. Because I’m not good at either goal setting or goal keeping, I rarely put down my goals on black and white. Seeing my goals neatly written down on a page in 2000, put a smile on my face. The page read as follows:
22/10/2000 “ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Main goal: To be a great author using my talents for His glory.
Small goals: Writing an article per month; writing fillers-poems, greeting card; At least
6-7 publications before the next Fall conference
Future goals: Five years from now: One book publication.
10 yrs from now: Four to five books publication-
Twelve years had swift by since I wrote down my first entry in my Writer's Journal, and its pages give me a glimpse of my growth spurt in writing skill and the opportunities ICWF had given me to gain confidence and to fledge my wings. Goal keeping may not be my strength, but obeying God is. So, I keep writing.