Our life is like a divine roadmap with countless events and encounters pointing us toward our calling–that thing God created us to do. I believe we’ve all got one, and if we look back over our lives closely enough, we’ll see God’s fingerprints on countless moments, each one nudging us one step closer to who we were meant to be. Ephesians 2:10 is one of my favorite verses. It says: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (NIV).
Each writer has a different journey on how they came to the decision of making writing their passion. Join my guest, Alexis, as she shares with us her own journey.
The Making of A Writer: Scenes from my life as a storyteller
by Alexis Goring
Since age 9, I knew that I wanted to be a writer. Today, I’d like to share scenes from my life that moved me toward that dream.
Scene #1 (childhood): My grandparents babysat my brother and I when we were children. I loved spending time at their house. One day, while my grandma was fixing lunch, my grandpa decided to keep my brother and I entertained by creating an impromptu storytelling game.
The rules were simple: Take turns telling a story that we just made up on the spot. My grandpa told his story first, then my brother then me. Soon after that, lunch was ready and my story was still on my mind. So, I decided to spend all of my free time that summer at the family computer, typing out my story onto the word processor. After typing “the end,” I printed it out and bound it like a book with staples. I used crayons and markers to illustrate each page. I created a “book cover” and named it “Sisters.” When my mom’s best friend visited us, she was my first “audience” and she was impressed! It was all the encouragement I needed to start to seriously pursue my writing dreams.
Scene #2 (teenage years): Since that story telling game at my grandparents’ house, I spent all of my free time reading, writing and exploring my creativity. So by the time that I entered high school, it was only natural for me to join the Journalism and Yearbook staff. I dove right in and loved it! It was then that I started to feel a bit of a tug toward journalism but I still spent most of my free time writing fictional stories and God sent people to reaffirm my talents every step of the way.
I still remember that college student who visited our Bible class (I went to a Christian high school) and told the entire class that when he read my story (a modern telling of a Bible story, it was a class assignment that he critiqued) how impressed he was. His exact words were, “There’s no way that a high school freshman can write like this!” His words reaffirmed my passion for storytelling and showed me that my writing talent was worth developing.
Scene #3 (college): I declared an English major in college because I thought it would help me to grow as a creative writer. Along the way, a Journalism professor named Stacy recruited me. Journalism was nowhere on my career dreams radar until God used Stacy to reveal it. I changed my major to Print Journalism and dove into the classes but it was a struggle at first until the turning point. I still remember that pivotal moment: I was sitting in Stacy’s office, struggling with creating the lead (for a story). I told her, “I don’t think I’m very good at this” to which she replied, “You’re better at it than you think.” God helped me push past my self-doubt and I started to soar in my studies. I told someone that studying Journalism was like, “The sun rising.” It felt like a natural fit. I loved it and my skills as a writer grew by leaps and bounds! I graduated with a B.A. in Print Journalism and started work as a freelance reporter for the newspaper industry.
Scene #4 (present day): My journey as a writer has come full circle because I’m now pursuing the highest degree you can receive as a writer, a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. I chose to pursue it because I’ve always wanted to learn how to write for television and movies, and this degree helps me to develop the skills necessary to achieve that dream. Now, I’m trusting God and waiting on His perfect timing. I’m following His lead and continuing work as a freelance writer for print media. Cannot wait to see what scenes in my life story He writes next!
Hope in My Heart is a collection of short, heartwarming stories with characters in need of hope.
In Love Unexpected, a car crash brings commitment-wary Sebastian and career woman Chandra together. Neither is looking for romance, but those around them see the potential, and Sebastian and Chandra discover that sometimes love shows up unexpectedly.
Christmastime is the setting for The Best Gift. Christina desires to lose ten pounds so she can fit into her dress for her sister’s wedding. Jordan wishes her mom would stop trying to marry her off. And Joshua hopes to be reunited with his ex-girlfriend but eventually learns that the best gift this Christmas will be the restoration of his relationship with God.
In Peace and Love, three characters living in a metropolitan area are desperately searching. Elle, a starving artist, aspires to become a paid professional. Eric, a divorce attorney, wants to resolve his issues concerning his parents’ divorce. Kristine anticipates finding her birth mom before she marries Derek. All characters pray their searches will conclude this holiday season and fill their hearts with peace and love.
Alexis A. Goring is a writer at heart and a journalist by profession. She loves the art of storytelling and is especially delighted to have released her first book, an inspirational romance novella called Hope in My Heart: A Collection of Heartwarming Stories, in Sept. 2013. When Alexis is not working on her next book or chasing down the next big story for the newspaper where she works as a freelance reporter, she can be found listening to songs by her most admired musicians, enjoying the food in cafes/restaurants, shopping at her favorite malls and spending quality time with loved ones (family and friends).
Let’s talk about this! When did you know you were meant to work in a particular career or perhaps serve in a particular ministry? Or maybe you’re still discerning that. If that’s the case, can you see any hints from your past experiences as to what God might have in store for you? Share your thoughts and stories with us in the comments below!