I can still hear the lady on The Lighthouse radio station, saying "Enjoy the journey!" This was all the way back when we had two burgundy walls in our living room, and I slept with so many stuffed animals they'd fall off the edges of my bed. (You know you're an early-2000's kid when you remember burgundy walls.)
Anyway, I got to thinking that writing's a pretty adventurous journey. I embarked way back when with the creation of my first character--my imaginary friend named Hunter. She was an Indian girl who'd been left alone in the Wisconsin woods after her tribe changed camps without her. Most girls look up to their favorite Disney princesses? My role model killed panthers.
Life was bliss when I was five, but it didn't stay that way. I contracted anxiety and panic attacks at the age of eight, and my sister's temper tantrums didn't help anything. (She used to have SID, or Sensory Integration Dysfunction, which means that pretty much all pull-ups and shoes felt like torture to her.) Right around my tenth birthday, I started writing a book that was basically a darker version of The Lion King with deer. And Hunter was in it, but I changed her name. Lots of times.
Right after I finished the rough draft (and about 75,000 words of a sequel), we moved.
I was kind of shook up after we moved, and my writing became even more of an obsession. My characters dominated my thought life and most of my speech. Finally, when I turned 13, things started looking up. God healed me of my anxiety at a Wednesday night church service, and I found a new best friend. God also used our church to direct me to the inspiration for Where the Clouds Catch Fire.
I have a long way to go on my journey. After two years of work, I finally have a finished, final draft. I'm still too attached to my writing for comfort--it dominates my thoughts more often than it really should--but God's healing me of my dependence on it. And I know that He's going to continue to, and help me on the next leg of my journey. And as soon as I'm finished? I'll get right back up and work on the sequel. And the other three books I have planned in the series.
What kind of journey are you on? What's the last leg you've completed? I'd love to hear it in the comments! God bless, and have a wonderful day!
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.