For a full decade, I enjoyed the success of selling essays, articles, stories, and poems to religious and secular magazines for both children and adults. During that time, I was also busy raising our two daughters with my husband Kurt. Life was free of stress until our older daughter turned 16 and our younger daughter 10.
All my energy poured into the girls, leaving me emotionally drained. My creativity and desire to write vanished. I stopped going to my writer’s and critique groups. I no longer attended writers’ conferences, and contest awards were now distant memories. I lost contact with my writer friends. My writing career came to a halt.
Writers understand each other’s struggles with writer’s block or rejections. We share a common ground and empathize with one another. But no one understood the difficulties Kurt and I were going through with our daughters. We felt alone.
After years of fruitless struggle, we did the only thing we could, do. We turned our troubles over to God. As our challenges gradually became more manageable, my ambition and desire to write returned only as a fleeting thought here and there.
While I was not moved to write, God’s plan moved in other ways. We relocated to a small town where I got a part-time job as a church secretary. There, I focused on my duties, while writing lay dormant deep in my mind—until Becky was hired as office manager. We were talking one day when the subject of writing came up. Becky aspired to being a published author. Hearing that I had published writings, Becky invited me to bring in some of the magazines for her to read. I enjoyed sharing one of my favorite children’s stories that had appeared in Spider magazine and seeing Becky’s enthusiastic reaction. Thereafter, we discussed seeking a writer’s group in our area. The thought of returning to writing excited me, but nothing ever came to fruition.
Eventually, we both left our church positions. We didn’t see each other again until long after that when we ran into each other at a store. Becky asked, “Have you been writing?”
“No, have you?”
Becky shook her head. “Remember when we used to talk about joining a writer’s group?”
I nodded. “I don’t really feel like seeking out a group, though.”
“Well, let’s form our own.”
The timing was right for both of us. We named our group “Write Away!” and that is what we did. She wrote. I wrote. Yes, I wrote! I was once again a writer. I immediately resumed selling essays, articles, children’s stories, and devotionals. Becky made her first sale and many others followed.
I firmly believe by releasing my struggles with my daughters to God, He restored my desire to write. That had always been His plan, even when I thought my writing career had ended. Since then, I have focused mainly on writing devotionals and Christ-centered essays and stories.
There have been even greater stressors in my life since then, but rather than allowing my writing to falter, I turn my life and my writing over to God. I continue to write and be published. God gave me this skill and I use it for His glory. I will always be a writer—with God’s help.
Sue Carloni has been published in more than 70 magazines in the religions and secular markets for both children and adults, including Guideposts, Woman’s World, and Mature Living.