one million words

find your voice. tell your story.

Why I am not writing a book but am telling my story

In April I met with a couple of mentors at a writers conference who encouraged me to write a book. How crazy, I thought. Writers probably tell everyone to write a book just like runners tell friends they too should sign up for a marathon. Misery loves company.

As a child, I dreamed of becoming an author, writing adventure fiction for children. You should pursue a real career, dad told me. I did, if Physical Therapy counts as real. Caring for patients as well as my own children has been satisfying (or distracting) enough to forget about ever wanting to write a book. 

Add to that no time to write, no audience waiting to read, perfectionism and my top excuse: It’s all been said and some have said it very well! (Been to Barnes lately… yeah…) Of course it’s all been said, an author friend told me, but people enjoy hearing it (again) in your voice. Assuming you found your voice and the courage to offer it to the world.

For a while I was inspired and started hacking out chapter One. I rewrote it three different times and thought it was the worst, least focused thing I’ve ever written. Then I entered a couple of writing contests and failed to advance to even get read by the judges. I felt like quitting before ever truly starting.

But I am not a quitter. You keep asking me tell my story. You curiosity inspires. I am sorry I have been vague with your questions at times and changed topics. I am more ready and open to talk now. I think. I am not writing a book but I am ready to tell you parts of my story on this blog for free 🙂

I’ll am looking forward to hearing what resonates with your story, what questions come up. We’re never alone in our stories and telling them changes things, changes us. So often I find parts of my own story in someone else writing and I see more clearly who I am and what I want.

Faith will be the core theme in every relevant snippet I will share from my life. I was raised in the tension of two opposing world views: communism and a fundamental religious subculture. Both claimed to be the truth. This caused me to ponder issues of faith from a young age.

When writing about faith, I am more interested in how my beliefs have affected my identity, life choices and relationships v/s looking in depth into what I believe and why. Faith is fluid, I believe, and meant to change throughout our lives. I feel like I am continuously sorting through my beliefs, looking and what’s worth keeping and what’s needs to get thrown out. Perhaps you are in a similar place and want to join the journey. Perhaps you desire a deeper relationship with God or greater freedom in the way you worship. You are welcome to join the conversation.

I am writing from a christian perspective. I was raised in East Germany which was under communist rule until the wall came down in 1989 when I was 11. Christianity was not illegal in East Germany, it was marginalized and tolerated with varying levels of suppression. Communism was not scary to me. It was annoying and I often wished I could live somewhere beyond the wall. We were used to being watched as well as having little freedom or resources.

For the most part, I have avoided talking about this part of my past but it’s shaped me and helped built the grid through which I view God, the world, myself, you. Our grids are worth exploring and they never have to remain the same. Freedom awaits on the other side of our fear.

Welcome to My Faith Journey. Part I will start next week. I’ll post about once a week. I am happy to answer your questions. If you would like to follow the journey you can subscribe to my blog in the sidebar on the right. I am grateful for you and look forward to pushing into uncharted territory!

If it goes badly, please send money so I can go see my therapist.

Love,

Astrid

PS. If you are reading this from your phone and can’t see how to subscribe to the blog, you can just shoot me an e-mail: ameltonpt AT gmail.com

typewriter-801921_1920 (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Replies

  1. Tara

    🙂 🙂 🙂 Your last line is my favorite. Looking forward to this journey! Love you!

    1. Astrid Melton

      Thanks for being a top supporter! What would I do without you??

  2. Janel

    Ah, I can relate to your previous book aspirations. Amazing that we live in a digital time where our story can spread in wider and more precise ways. Perhaps that’s due to God’s guidance of our gifts, too.

    My heart was touched the most, though, when I read about you being on the east side of the Wall at the same age as I was when I was reading about it coming down. I’ll never forget that issue of Scholastic Reader in 6th grade. Still feel the thrill of being a part of something significant in history. (Turned 12 that month.) Love hearing the perspective of a normal girl like me (lol!) living through that period in a different part of the world. looking forward to your take on life and faith in this new aspect of your blog. Be courageous. Your story/stories will be more useful than you could predict…because God is the Author. Thanks for being faithful to let a bigger dream come through your “pen.”

    🙂

    1. Astrid Melton

      thanks for your encouraging words, Janel. I really appreciate it! I was home alone when a friend called to tell me the border to the west was open and we should come right away and visit and I’ll never forget how that moment felt.

  3. Astrid! I am so happy you came to the Faith & Culture Writers Conference last April and that we continue to be connected! I so resonate with your story, dear fellow, Deutsche, WriterMom. . .I want to hear more of your story, especially our mutual German connection- I too need to write more about that side of my life. Now, you’re inspiring me! See you at the next Writers Connection or for Kaffee! – (PS thanks for tagging me on twitter for this post!!) – Bis bald, Cornelia

    1. Astrid Melton

      Thanks friend. You should write about your German roots 🙂 Anne Lamott says if you don’t know what to write, write about your childhood…write about everything you can remember….we shall see how the story goes over. It’s good practice anyways…See you soon!

  4. “people enjoy hearing it (again) in your voice”

    This is helpful – to me.

    I’m so glad you are taking on this challenge. I can’t wait to hear more!

    1. Astrid Melton

      Great. Keep writing, my friend!

  5. Astriid, Outstanding!!!
    May God give you the courage, wisdom and the words to continue sharing! Even though we have spoken about some of this, seeing it written gives me greater understanding.
    Love you – and proud of you!

    Voni

    1. Astrid Melton

      Thanks Voni- you are so encouraging to me!

Leave a Reply