Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick, her first-line editor and biggest fan. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She is a hybrid publisher who has published a number of books under her pen name and under her own name. Her current release, Echoes of the Heart, a 9-in-1 novella collection titled “Pony Express Romance Collection” released April 1. Donna is also a ghostwriter and editor of fiction and non-fiction, and judges in a number of writing contests. She will be teaching an online course for American Christian Fiction Writers in June 2017, “Don’t let your subplots sink your story”. Donna loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. You can find her on her blog History Through the Ages, her website, Facebook, Twitter, her Amazon Author Page, and you can find her book Echoes of the Heart here.
The Call to Write
I guess I’ve always liked to write. I recall in second grade telling my teacher I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. She told me that to be a good writer, I needed to read a lot. And I did, and still do. As a kid, I’d ride my bicycle to the library on Saturday and get the limit: 10 books. Once I’d read all the books in the children’s section that caught my fancy, I wanted to read what was in the adult section (no tweens or YA in those days). But the librarian was concerned. And so she should be. So we arranged that I would choose the books and let her approve them.
As an adult reader who also writes, sometimes I struggled with sitting down at the computer and putting words on the page. I doubted whether anybody wanted to read my stories. I hoped lives would be changed when they read what I wrote, but was I being prideful? Putting too much pressure on myself? Did it have to be perfect? And once written, then what?
As I sat in front of a blank computer screen one day, I did what I should have been doing all along: I prayed. Lord, help me write what You want me to write.
And God spoke to my heart: Let Me dictate the story and you transcribe it.
That was the answer I needed. No more pressure on me to come up with plot lines or witty dialogue. No more stress about did it have to be perfect or would lives be changed.
Because I came to understand some things about my writing that I’ve been able to translate into my faith walk:
- God is giving me a brand new story that’s never been heard by anybody before. For me.
- So long as He is in control, the story will be perfect. It’s only when I get in the way that problems occur.
- Hearing His story has taught me to listen well.
- Knowing this story is first and foremost for me has relieved the stress of who would want to read my stories. I do.
- If I’m not changed by the story, nobody else will be, either. The change must start in me.
Each time I sit to write, I pray: Lord, please dictate the story and let me transcribe it. Thank you for the opportunity to hear this story for the first time.