I always loved to write. Whenever loved ones, friends or family members, were sad I created a poem trying to comfort them. Whenever my parents had heated arguments I wrote to encourage them to continue in their marriage. (Now and then, I shared my gratitude with them as well; I told them that I was proud of them for staying together when times were tough.)
Whenever and wherever there was an opportunity to write I got hold of it. I even started to write a novel called Meeting in the Strawberry Restaurant. How I thought of that title? I have no idea. I just remember that one of my friends really enjoyed following my story. During the preparation for my confirmation in the Lutheran church I read something about seal hunters, and I got very upset. I wrote an article about furs and seal hunting which appeared in the newsletter of our parish. A reader must have passed on my article to an animal protection organization because I received a lovely box full of tracts and little gifts along with an encouraging letter to keep up fighting against the cruelty to animals.
Things changed dramatically around the 8th grade when I started to hate writing. It happened during a time when the red correction symbols on my essays outweighed the blue ink of these marked papers. Ninety minutes were never enough for me to jot down my ideas, create a first draft, edit and rewrite it in ink. I lacked many of the skills of format writing, grammar, and spelling, and I didn't know how to catch up on the missed knowledge.
Later on in life I started to write again, but my love for writing was always suppressed out of fear that my work isn't up to the mark. The written words played against me. I just couldn't let go of them. I always felt an urge to correct the weak words, the wrong tenses, the misplaced punctuation right away. I just couldn't let the text flow, and so I got sidetracked thinking of all the mistakes that could happen while I'm writing.
Some of you might say, "This is what proofreaders and editors are for." I disagree, and so do many other Christian authors by the way. If we do not have the skills to write well we have to improve our English by taking courses and/or putting our noses into textbooks. Good authors never stop learning and reading to improve their writing skills.
I've made a few attempts to study grammar and writing skills. I tried to work my way through several English textbooks, but I kept running into the same problem. (I will share more on that in future posts.) It wasn't until recently that I discovered the books by Frode Jensen and gave them a try. The light came on, grammar started to make sense, and now I'm actually having fun learning it. What I needed was a course that would take months, not years, and would give me a good foundation to build on.
I'm a helpmeet, homemaker and writer. I was born and raised in Germany but I'm now living in the stunning Sunny South East of Ireland.