Has anyone ever spoken over you and it felt prophetic? After talking through my writing path, someone said to me, “See, you are a writer.” It was a game-changer. In college, I wrote for the campus newspaper. As Teacher of the Year, I wrote articles for the system newsletter. Throughout my career in education, I taught all kinds of writing, modeling the process. Along the way, I have met amazing role models.
I met Kathleen Burkinshaw, at a Social Studies conference. Her mother’s story moved me so much. She told a war story on a level that my history students connected with. I found the more I read, the more I wanted to also tell a historical story with real characters.
Then, a friend recommended I attend SCBWI where I sat through amazing accounts of crooked paths to publication. I met Lisa Kline through my critique. She encouraged my use of writer’s voice. Each author added to my skill base and kept encouraging me. One writer even asked, “Do you have a tough skin?” I laughed, “I’m getting there.”
After I attended the recent Write to Ignite Master Class, I took a suggestion from Joyce Moyer Hostetter. I was able to complete a “Where I’m From” fill in the blank poem about my manuscript and I knew then that I had made my characters believable.
I met Cindy Sproles who said, “I helped but the writing is your own.” Something about that made a light bulb go off in my head that said, “Keep swimming, even in the middle of a pandemic.” Then, while watching a Delia Owens interview, I heard her say, “I wake up in the middle of the night and ideas come to me so I write them down. Sometimes I cannot read them the next morning.” I laughed and thought, “That happens to me!”
After all this self-examination, I began to pray and ask God what He was doing. I believe He has led me down this path and I am growing from the process. Most recently, I attended the Blue Ridge Writing Conference virtually where my manuscript won first place for Young Adult fiction.
I am starting to see how Write to Ignite, SCBWI, librarians, authors and Blue Ridge are all part of God’s plan.
The journey doesn’t end here. Now I plan to start the path to publication. I am sure it will include authors, conferences and a new set of skills, but looking back makes looking forward even more rewarding. I plan to take lots of notes so I can share the next steps with you.
Theresa Parker Pierce lives in historic Salisbury, North Carolina, where she enjoys spending time with family and friends. She has 35 years of experience teaching reading and history. Two-time Rowan Salisbury Teacher of the Year, Theresa enjoys storytelling about her childhood in Swansboro and giving tours in Rowan County. Her manuscript, Up Dunn’s Mountain won first place for Young Adult Literature at Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference.