Several years ago, a dear friend asked me to accompany her to a writer’s group of some kind. As classic introverts, the thought of walking into a room full of strangers wasn’t appealing to either of us, but she thought she could manage if I would act as her security blanket.
I said “No.” Vehemently.
But she launched a full-scale attack … gorgeous brown eyes and a sweet, pleading smile against a splash of freckles. Who on earth could resist that?
Melting a little, I said I’d think about it.
The truth was, however, I didn’t want to think about it. Although I’d always dreamed of becoming a full-time writer, my life was a bit complicated. My husband, Ian, and I had adopted three kids from the foster care system, all with varying issues, and we had a biological son, too. One of our boys was particularly high-needs at the time, taking most of our energy and attention. He was entering his teen years AND puberty … neither of which was an easy transition. The last thing his plethora of diagnoses needed was a good soak in testosterone.
Plus, we’d just moved back from England, where we’d lived for almost nine years. Our family was still getting connected, settling in, and trying to find our feet. The very thought of going to a writing group was like sending a starving man into a Mexican buffet to just look. If writing wasn’t in my near future, I didn’t want to be anywhere near the carnitas station, thank you very much.
So, really, it just wasn’t the time. Right?
And, though writing was a definite dream … it was for some season in the hazy, distant future. Right?
Oh, how God must laugh at our attempts to sort our own lives!
As you’ve probably guessed, I did go to that meeting with my friend. She never returned, but by the next day I’d signed up with Inspire and committed to a critique group. I still have no idea how time and energy appeared in my overwhelming schedule, but it did. God parted the waters of my kids’ care just enough for a sliver of time here and there to appear.
He’s like that, you know.
Over the next few years, those slivers of time widened as my love for writing deepened. My passion for communicating through the written word and for encouraging others in their journeys to do the same grew from a background flicker into a full-blown blaze. Although I didn’t realize it at first, and even resisted it a little (don’t you just love “mother guilt?”), God was bringing me into the very season I had been praying for since I was a little girl. I was becoming a writer.
It’s been more than three years since that first Inspire meeting. In those few years, I became a critique group leader, have served as Communications Director and Director of Leadership on the Inspire Board, acted as the Inspire liaison to West Coast Christian Writers, written eight books, signed with my dream agent (Cynthia Ruchti!) at my dream agency (Books and Such!), started speaking and teaching at conferences, workshops, and events throughout the country, began freelancing as a writing coach and substantive editor, and am a thesis defense away from my MFA in Creative Nonfiction and Fiction.
And to think I didn’t even want to go to that first meeting!
As if all that wasn’t enough, this week something else happened. The Inspire Board of Directors met on Monday for our regular meeting. This is a Board I have come to admire and deeply love. It’s filled with people who care profoundly about Inspire’s mission to “encourage and equip” Christian writers and who constantly challenge me personally as an author and as a follower of Jesus.
And they elected me President of the Board.
I’m still unpacking that event, and will be for some time. But for now, I know this: I’m honored to be a part of Inspire and this Board. I’m grateful to have an opportunity to serve our membership through encouragement and by facilitating training and fellowship opportunities. I’m blessed to be working with all of you as we learn to communicate better on behalf of the Kingdom. And I’m downright excited about where Inspire is heading!
Looking forward to seeing what’s next!
Robynne Elizabeth Miller