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WRITE: My Writing Journey, Part 1

Someone asked it again last night: “How did you get into that type of work?” The question referred to my work as a collaborative writer. I responded with the short version (shared in my professional bio. under “About Marti” on this website). I’ll share the long version here. As I also note in “About Marti,” I’ve been a writer most of my life. I believe God designed me this way. Perhaps he gave you an ability to paint, draw, build computers, or fix cars. I have none of those skills—but I received the word gene in full force. My earliest stories and poems came about in second grade. Mrs. Esther Frederick was the wonderful, kind teacher (I called her my “grandma teacher”) who encouraged my work. For one of her assignments, every student studied a particular animal. Our finished projects all included clay sculptures, crayon drawings, and research reports printed on giant sheets of lined manuscript paper. With Mrs. Frederick’s blessing, mine also contained a section of original poems about my chosen animal, the chipmunk. I record one of these gems here in its entirety: Run, little chipmunk, run fast. Or Mr. Fox will get you and your babies will not last. Run, little chipmunk, run fast! The amazing part about this early effort is not that I could write well (I couldn’t—at least not yet). The amazing part is that my teacher saw the value of my potential. She never pointed out my coloring or sculpture deficiencies. Instead, she emphasized what I could do. She was the first person in my life who praised the way I put words together. She cast into me the vision that I could write so that, as early as age seven, I considered myself a writer. My story begins with a God-given ability and a grace-gift of encouragement from a wise teacher. When I teach others, including my children, I hope to affirm their abilities in the same way Mrs. Frederick did mine. Who encouraged you to develop your abilities? What gifts or talents showed up in your childhood that you still exhibit today? Comment back (here or on Facebook) to continue the conversation. I’ll continue my story in the next “WRITE”...

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