By Misty M Beller @MistyMBeller
This morning, I was telling a friend how proud I was that he’s taken the initiative to accomplish something he’s wanted to do for years. In his case, the accomplishments involved Invisalign and a pretty serious diet, but it made me think back to several years ago when I first created my bucket list.
The idea of a bucket list had been on my mind for a while, and I finally took the initiative when January 1st rolled around. You want to know what was the first item I listed?
"Write a novel that's published"
Yes! Reading has always been a huge part of my life, but as I held pen and journal in hand, I put words to the secret dream I’d never admitted to anyone.
Now that I’d actually recorded that dream on paper, I realized I had to do it. I made the commitment.
So, I had a general idea that I wanted it to be a Christian western romance. But where to start? That blank Word document seemed much more daunting than it had for any college essay or work memo. Somehow, all the thousands of novels I’d read didn’t give me a clue how to start my own!
I finally decided I needed to find a good book to help me plan, so off to the library I went. I stumbled upon (i.e. God led me to) the best possible book to help me get started with a great plan: Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell. For all you writers out there, I can't recommend it highly enough!
From there, I soaked in every bit of writing instruction I could from some amazing groups and individuals. Midway through that first story, I discovered this neat group called the American Christian Fiction Writers. Wow!
Writing and I have had a love affair since then, and I've spent countless hours sitting with my laptop pouring out words onto the screen. God has blessed my journey as a hybrid author, and now with six books released, I have the special privilege of a full-time writing career. I pray for His guidance and inspiration for every new story. Writing is in my blood. It's my passion. A true gift from my Heavenly Father, and I pray daily that he uses the words for His purpose.
But now, as I begin my eighth novel, my mind drifts toward that bucket list. Who would have thought it would turn into all this? What other dreams has He planted for me there? What else will I miss if I don’t take action?
What about you? What’s on your bucket list? What’s the next dream you’re going to pursue?
Misty M. Beller writes Christian historical romance, and is author of the bestselling novels The Lady and the Mountain Man and The Lady and the Mountain Doctor.
Misty was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. About eleven years ago, she made a career change from farm life into the business world, where she worked as a Senior Manager and Director of Process & Training. She's now loving the life of a full-time writer, wife, and mother.