A Love Affair With Writing

July is a popular month for weddings. My family and I spent the past weekend in Kentucky at a nephew’s wedding. The bride glowed with beauty, the groom couldn't stop smiling, and we were thrilled to be there to help them celebrate the start of their life together.

My husband and I were married eighteen years ago in July. In fact, today is our 18th anniversary and I woke up to a dozen roses!
As I watched the wedding this past weekend, so many memories flooded my mind—the silky rustling of my own gown as I walked down the aisle on my daddy’s arm, filled with such joy at the thought of spending the rest of my life with the man I loved.

My husband and I met when we were freshmen in college. A mutual friend introduced us, but at that time we attended different colleges in different states. We spent a semester writing letters and calling each other non-stop. One semester was all it took for my new man to decide he wanted to be with me. The next year he transferred schools. And so began a love affair. . .

The longer I brush virtual shoulders with other writers, the more I realize we have a love affair with our writing. It’s that love that keeps us going against all the obstacles. So, in keeping with the season of true love, I thought it would be fun today to share how we first fell in love with writing.

When did you meet this love of your life? Did you start off slowly as friends or was it passionate love at first sight? And did you ever break it off for a while or were you certain this writing love was the one for you for always?

I’ll go first. I was in elementary school when I fell in love with writing. And it was definitely love at first sight. From the moment I could spell and compose full sentences, I was never again without a spiral notebook and pencil. I luxuriated in long family trips across the country, spending endless hours with my love, filling page after page with stories.

Eventually I grew bolder with my love affair and entered and won a couple of writing contests. I even started college with every intention of getting a degree in writing. However, when I looked at other majors, I broke up with writing for a while in order to “date” around.

For a time I tried another career, but it didn’t take too many years for discontentment to settle in and for the longing for my first love to return with full force. I dumped the other “guys” and ran back to my writing, embracing it with all the passion in my heart. We’ve been together ever since.

Your turn! Here are the questions again: When did you first start writing? Did you start slowly or was it passionate love at first sight? And did you ever break it off for a while or were you certain this writing love was the one for you? I'd love to hear your story!


  1. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!! Thanks for sharing that. It's wonderful to get a picture of you and hubby's life!

    Mine and hubby's 19th anniversary is coming up on Aug. 4th. So we're not far behind you in celebrating. Summer is the season of love, isn't it. THough a cozy winter fire also gives that picture to me.

    My writing love affair. Well, as a teen I wrote synopsis of stories in shorthand in steno pads--they're hidden in my hopechest now--totally unreadable to me anymore. But then I went and go a Math degree and became a systems analyst so the writing stayed dorment for years.

    Nearly seven years ago I wrote my very first full story as a way to deal with missing and worrying about my hubby while on business trips. The girls were all in school full time, so I wrote between volunteer hours. That's when I got the bug to write for real and haven't looked back since.

  2. My love affair began with books. I read everyone I could get my hands on the moment I could read. (quite literally...) Then... in school middle-school, they started to ask us to write "papers." Not just like a one page paragraph or two, but a six to ten page REPORT. I hated them. Mostly because I hated research and trying to put all that on paper.

    BUT... I figured out that I could use a lot of words and put them together to sound really nice, and add fluff, fill a whole report, and the teacher was just impressed at my word usage and didn' realize that there was no substance to my writing. I got most A's. Sad, I know. THIS is why I'm not a historical writer... LOL

    It's also why I had to work really hard at "tightening" my writing becuse my habit was to try to use as may prepositional phrases as humanly possible. LOL.

    I think my infatuation really started though in high school when I wrote a paper that I fictionalized, and the teacher LOVED it. She wrote one place, "Wonderful visualization. Love it!" From that moment on, I told a story in every paper I could.

    Oddly enough, it was after I got married that I actually started to write my first book. But Love affair with my hubby and kids trumped, so I put it aside for many years. In 2007, God gave me the thumbs up and I feel head over heels in love again, and wrote my first complete book.

  3. And.... Happy Anniversary! 18 years... congrats! Scott and I are at ten years this October:-)

  4. Happy Anniversary :)

    My love has been one of those on again off again thing. Not because I didn't want to be with it ALWAYS, but mostly because sometimes life took me away from it.

    But we are back together now...and I couldn't be happier!

  5. WOW! I cannot believe it's been 18 years!! Congratulations! (And I'll try not to feel old in the process...even though I was VERY YOUNG when I met you.)

    My love of writing began as a love of story-telling. It's what I did to occupy my long hours at home with no siblings, no neighbors, and no TV. Eventually I began to translate the stories to paper, but I didn't realize how much I loved it until others began to affirm my gift. I guess I just needed some sort of permission to write and excel at it.

    When I found out it was actually a major in college - I knew it was sealed. And I've been writing ever since!

  6. Great post -- Love hearing your story!

    For me, it began with books, mainly The Baby-Sitter's Club Series :) I read whenever I could, even during the short car ride to church on Sundays, and I think that's why I started to become a good writer.

    I still remember the first adult -- other than my parents, I mean -- who told me I was a good writer, my third-grade teacher. I wonder if she knows how much good that did me?!

  7. I think my love was born at an early age, when I had massive desires to both read and write. It was so important to me, even if I didn't understand why. But over the years my relationship with writing was inconsistent; I certainly had other interests clamoring for my attention. It wasn't until 6, maybe 7, years ago that I committed. I was an adult. It was time.

    Great post, Jody.

  8. Happy anniversary! My hubby and I celebrated 23 years last month.

    My love affair with writing started early. I read everything I could get my hands on. Then I start "rearranging" details I didn't like as I read along. Sometimes I added writing on the blank page at the back, to end the story better. Then I started amusing myself by writing my own stories, where I could throw in anything and everything I wanted. I won a couple of awards for short stories, but I figured no one would really want to read what I wrote because I hadn't experienced enough life to have anything to say. Along came marriage, babies and a life in Uganda, East Africa. I finally woke up to the realization that, if I hadn't experienced enough life by now, I never would. So I started writing again and I haven't stopped.

  9. Jody: Happy Anniversary! What color are the roses? Many blessings on your marriage.

    My story is similar to yours: From the moment I could write, I began making "books" from stories I'd written. I made the covers from folded pieces of cardboard and illustrated them myself. I wish I'd saved them...

    I planned on majoring in English, but dated around with other loves, finally settling on the Bible. I met my husband at Bible college.

    I've written articles, poems, devos and columns ever since, having many published. Some for pay, some for love.

    I did not get my 2 year English degree until I was forty nine, and it was a proud moment when I received my certificate and an award for a 4.0 gpa. But the checks in the mail for articles sold and editors' interest in my writing has been the most rewarding!

    Thanks for asking. Have a sweet day with your Love,

  10. I started in elementary school. In 7th and 8th grades we had to write short stories and read them to the class (we had the same teach in both grades and he liked doing this). We would then comment on the stories. I received some positive feedback and liked it.

    In my work writing is a core function, so I have always done it. B/c I have written so much, I haven't always appreciated it like I should - it was work! But, reading several good blogs on writing, like yours, makes me appreciate writing not just as valuable work but as an artform.

    Good post, and congratulations on 18 years of marriage! Every anniversary celebration is a declaration that "We are doing something right!" Even if it isn't always smooth, the faithfulness, commitment and love show through, and God is pleased. Good job!


  11. It was a second grade project that did me in. Stuck with it through high school newspaper and year book, then got a Journalism degree in college. First love is still with me today.

  12. What a beautiful post, Jody! Happy Anniversary!!

    Where were you in Kentucky? I live in Versailles (just outside Lexington). It was a beautiful weekend here.

    I began my love affair fast and furiously! A love-at-first-sight not that long ago, kind of how my relationship with my husband began fourteen years ago after meeting in the infield of the Kentucky Derby. We also had a long-distance relationship that involved lots of letter writing.

    Although I didn't begin my love affair with writing fiction until after fifteen years as a CPA, I pray the love lasts.

  13. CONGRATS!!! WOW, 18 years. You do not look old enough to have been married for 18 years, that's for sure. :) I love reading about how people meet and fall in love. How fun to apply it to our writing.

    Hmmm....I think writing for me could be best explained as this:

    Writing was always my best friend. We played together in the sandbox in kindergarten, making mudpies. We hung out through junior high joking with each other about who we were going to the Friday night dances with. Then we sort of drifted apart in high school and college. I would occassionally send an email to my old best friend, every now and then. But we didn't have much contact, until....I was in my twenties. I went to Africa on an HIV/AIDS outreach and guess who I ran into? Writing! And WOW. Was that really my grade school best friend? Because hubba hubba...writing is looking FINE now! How could I not have noticed? This was no longer just best friend material, this was my soul mate. I fell madly in love with writing and we've been together ever since.

  14. A 4th grade poem to be submitted in a school competition by my teacher, Sister Lucianna, began it all for me!

    Happy Anniversary, Jody ... Best wishes to you and yours!

  15. I LOVE your stories! Keep 'em coming!! How fun and inspiring to hear about your love affairs with writing!

    Update on my anniversary: My husband blessed me this morning with a dozen RED roses! Also, since then, he gave me a bag of my FAVORITE chocolates! AND a $50 gift card to Amazon! What more could a book lover ask for?!

  16. Happy Anniversary!!!!! I'm with Jeanette...what color roses?

    I fell in love with Writing's sister, Reading. We began our love affair in grade school and really got serious in High School when my aunt started feeding us Harlequin books. I then fell for Writing at the end of my HS years and began a novel and took a college writing class my senior year. This was the life for me. :) But God sent me into the arms of another love, my husband, and I broke it off with Writing for many years, focusing on my man, my family, and my new job as a pastor's wife. It was only a couple of years ago that I felt the pull of Writing again. I dove in and have been writing ever since. Ah, the joys of rekindled love. :)

  17. Happy Anniversary! I had to read how many years twice because you look only 18 in your picture!

    I wrote my first sc-fi type story in fifth grade and shared it with my friends. Then I never stopped although mostly in journals. I did write for the high school paper some and dabbled over the years for myself--writing down everything that happened in my life.
    But like a relentless lover, writing nagged me and wouldn't leave me alone until finally I gave in and tried to make it read about five years ago.

  18. What a great question. I began writing poetry in junior high as a way to deal with my emotions. It felt good just to write it all out. In my 20s I began writing novels and trying to get them published but then my marriage fell apart and for a while life was too chaotic to work AND focus on writing. So I started blogging and built a readership (on MySpace) and over time, I've made my way back to novel-writing again.

  19. Happy Anniversary! My husband and I have been married for 4 years, but we've been together for over 16 years (NOT including the years we dated in junior high & high school)... and I think my writing and I have had a similar relationship to the one my husband and I have had! We've been together forever, and for a while it seemed stupid to take the relationship so seriously since we were so young, but we kept coming back to each other. And then, after being happy together for many many years, we finally decided to make things official.

  20. Happy anniversary!

    My love affair with writing began when I was a kid, reading everything I could get my hands on, then living out new scenarios with the characters in my head. I penned my first story when I was 15.

  21. Happy Anniversary!

    My love affair with writing began, like most of those here, with reading. I've been reading since I was 4 and composing stories since I could put words together in intelligable sentences. My first forays into writing were travelogues of my family's road trips. I didn't begin composing fiction until after I read what would become my favorite book, "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle. I've always been in love with fairy tales and fantasy. Seeing it played out so beautifully and so effortlessly woven between the fibers of "real life" made me drool! I wanted to write like that!

    I'm still one the path and I'm enjoying it. I've just finished a trilogy for which I'm not composing a query. I've broken things off with my writing, but only for a bit. I realized with those few weeks of not writing that I couldn't NOT write. It's in my blood (quite literally as my grandmother is a poet and my great grandfather was a song writer). I intend to nurture this romance for the rest of my life.


  22. Happy Anniversary!

    My love affair with writing began at a young age as well. The funny thing is, I LOATHED playing make believe with my friends, but when it came time to make up a story and put it down on paper...I was enthralled. Creative writing was my favorite subject in grade school; I couldn't wait to get out my composition notebook and fill it up!

    I love how you said you "dated around", as I also dated around in college. If I could go back I would absolutely get a degree in writing, as it has come full circle as my heart's sole passion (besides my faith and family, of course!).

    Great post!!

  23. Happy Anniversary, Jody!

    Your analogy hit the spot. Writing followed a love for reading. Without warning, Cupid's arrow pierced my heart.

    I wrote all kinds of stuff, but never thought of myself as a "real" writer. The journey to publication only reached the serious level about six years ago.

    Falling in love with writing is a lot like falling in love with a man. You can't explain it or know what it's like until it happens to you.

    Susan :)

  24. What a nice feel-good post! Thank you for it! I remember when I fell in love with writing. It was in a high school English class. We'd been assigned to write about our hometown in the style of Flaubert. (We were studying Madame Bovary at the at time. Anyway, it my senior year, near the end, and I was feeling fed up with all of the reports that we had been doing. I didn't care to follow my formal training anymore. Instead, I just wrote whatever I want. I wrote honestly for the first time in my life. The next day at class, my teacher pointed out my assignment. She said there was just something about it that makes it special, even though she couldn't say what-or wouldn't for the sake of making us students figure it out for ourselves. That was the first time I understand that the best writing is personal writing, and I've been addicted ever since.

  25. Cute post Jody! Congrats on the anniversary. Wow.
    Hmmm, my love affair started as a reader. With writing, I kept several diaries and wrote a few stories. Started my first "novel" in middle school but dumped him for my other love, reading. :-) After I got married I took a literature class and my teacher gave me such a wonderful compliment about an essay that I rushed home and started writing another novel. Fast forward two years and forty thousand word. I wasn't exactly faithful. LOL
    But when I started reading publisher's websites and saw that Love Inspired was opening a historical line, I got serious about writing. That was my first finished novel, a historical romance. :-)

  26. Happy Anniversary to you! I hope there will be many, many more. I guess I'd give my own age away if I told you my hubby and I will be celebrating our 50th anniversary in September -- but I'm not that old; I know I'm not! ::shaking head vehemently::

    I was an avid reader from the beginning, but when I turned 13 one of my gifts was a locking diary. I filled it with thoughts, poems, snippets of stories, and then moved on to filling school scribblers.

    I didn't write steadily after I got married but many years later during a particularly difficult time I went back to it, journalling as therapy. My childhood writings have long since disappeared but everything else since then has accumulated as I've continued to write. I can't imagine ever not writing again. It's become too important to me.

  27. Happy Anniversary! And what a wonderful topic to celebrate it with!

    My love of writing also began when I was in elementary school, but during my middle school years I also fell in love with theatre and acting, which at times pushed writing onto the backburner. Acting led to directing which led to film school, but through it all I was always wanting to write material to go along with the acting and directing.

    In the last few years writing has once again come to the forefront, and I think right now it's what fits my life best.

  28. I started off slowly. My first writings were book reports. I was probably the only person in class who loved to give them. Then I got a little lock and key diary. In seventh grade I tried poems. I wrote lots of Beatles poems in high school. I also loved English assignments - like making up a fable. Journaling came in college. Finally short stories when my chiodren were little. Then I tried novels, devotions, and lessons. I have had slow periods, but never quit writing. I guess it's a passion. I don't feel I have to write, I just do it.

  29. Happy anniversary!!!!!!!!!!!

    I always HATED writing and (shhh!) reading, too. *gasp*

    It wasn't until about 4 years ago that I fell in love with reading and then decided to try writing. Then I knew I finally found the right prince charming. LOL!

  30. Happy Anniversary! What a wonderful story on how you and your husband met:)

    I have always loved reading. My mother would read to us each night, before we could read ourselves, the classics. Once I could read I always had my nose buried in a book. Being a hopeless romantic I daydreamed school days away and started writing my stories down. Even when I was teaching science I made my students explore lots of writing in their work.
    I have to admit I love a lot of things, but I always seem to find a way to incorporate writitng into everything I do!

  31. Happy Anniversary!

    I first fell in love with words back in kindergarten reading Dick and Jane books. I wrote my first piece that I can recall in first grade, a fire prevention essay that won 1st prize in a contest. I always loved working on book reports, long research papers, business proposals, anything that required me to write.

    If I could have been anything and done anything without other considerations, I'd have worked in publishing because books were my first love. I wanted to write for years but didn't think it was realistic. It became more than a dream when I read Steeple Hill's Love Inspired line in its debut year. I thought, "I can do this". It took several more years for me to begin putting pen to paper, but once I did, I was hooked.

  32. Hi Jody!

    Happy Anniversary! My husband and I celebrated our tenth June 5th.

    I think for me the reading came first. I was "hooked" on reading for pure pleasure by age 8, I believe. Starting with the Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace and The Little House on the Prairie series. Then, I fell in love with the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary and was a complete book addict by the time I discovered Judy Blume's books. My love for writing came a little later, although I ALWAYS did well on written reports, essays, etc. I remember it clearly: it was during my junior year of high school (I went to an all-girls' Catholic school in NYC, btw). We had one semester of creative writing which I absolutely LOVED. I mean, I was in my glory here! I had written a particularly sad short story full of all the typical teen angst, I guess. I thought it was one of my better written stories at the time, but really didn't know how good it was until I got the graded story back with a comment written on it by the teacher saying, "Did this really happen?" This totally blew me away because, of course, the story was made up. That's when I realized that, hmmm, maybe I could actually touch people with my writing . . . that maybe I did/do have some kind of talent for it. But it wasn't till MANY years later (after college, marriage, kids born, etc.) that I started to get serious about writing.

    Sorry this was so long, but you asked . . . :)

  33. i was in elementary school too. my teacher used to make these random scribbles in a blank rectangle at the top half of a piece of paper. we had to make something out of the scribble and then write about it on the lines provided afterward. i won the class award for my story about Mrs. Diamond. she got stolen and managed to get free....i mean, it was intense. :) that must have done it for me.

  34. Happy 18th Anniversary. We celebrate ours in Sept. 18 years also. :)

    Love affair with writing? For me, it came about 7 years ago during a time when I was low and God came near with comforting words. I wrote them down. I continue to write. I'm not sure it's a love affair anymore. It's part of who I am, for sure. But not sure what I'm doing with it anymore. I'm all over the map. Should I stay or should I go now? LOL That song came to mind.

    Enjoy your week.

  35. I've always loved books. I don't remember not being able to read. In 4th grade, I "discovered" adjectives, and I fell in love with words.

    It wasn't until my senior year, under a great teacher, that I learned to transfer my thoughts and emotions into stories. I created the MC of my novel.

    Then I got married and had a family (8 children). I taught grades K-3 in a small Christian school, plus 4-6 English and highschool French.

    All the while, I wrote in my "free time". Thirty years later, after my kids left home and I retired from teaching, I finished my novel.

    Now I am living my dream--taking writing courses, meeting other writers online, selling my writing to various publications, and stated a blog. I plan to attend my first writer's conference next month.

    My writing has been bottled up all these years. It has finally been given the opportunity to soar.


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