Please welcome this weeks guest Cara Putman for The Journey. She answers the question: How have you seen God work in your writing journey?
A Writing Journey that Weaves and Runs
I’ve wanted to write for about as long as I can remember. I’ve always had a love for good books and stories. When I was a teen, my favorite authors didn’t write new books fast enough – now I understand why! But at the time, I thought they should be able to write more books in a year, so I decided to try my hand at it. As a 13 and 14 year old, I tried my hand at writing historical fiction – one of the beauties of being homeschooled. Life intervened after I’d started two books, but the desire to write never died.
I was also drawn to journalism and politics. God graciously opened doors in both fields, so I worked for a local TV affiliate as a college student and then worked on a campaign and in the conservative non-profit world following graduation. During this time I got married and then started law school.
Throughout it all the desire to write never entirely disappeared. Instead, it would turn to warm coals only to flare to life every few years. When God’s time was right, He connected me with Colleen Coble and told me to tackle writing. The timing was great because I had two children and was working 4 days a week for a law firm. Eighteen months later I had a contract, and a year after that the first book, Canteen Dreams, released. It’s been a whirlwind since.
As I look back, I realize my life has been a preparation for writing. I’ve read voraciously since I was a young teen. That has given me an instinctive feel for what works (and doesn’t) in the world of story. Law school taught me to write clean and fast while learning key research skills. I’m also firmly convinced I wouldn’t be published without the techniques I’ve learned and the people I’ve met through American Christian Fiction Writers. When I joined in 2005, I didn’t know anything or anyone other than Colleen. That year at the conference, I met two editors I later wrote for as well as soaked up everything I could. The next year I received my first contract, the year after that I became heavily involved, and I’ve never stopped. I firmly believe ACFW can help people who want to write Christian fiction.
One challenge for me, and so many women, is how to balance our dreams with a full life. I balance career and family cautiously. And I don’t always do it well. As I’m writing this, I’m keeping my three-year-old company as we try to convince him it’s bed time. We have an active family and we homeschool, so it means I’m with the kids a lot, but we live on the edge of controlled chaos. Life is busy, so writing and marketing has to fit into my days. And sometimes it has to dominate if I’m racing toward deadline. I find myself constantly evaluating what I’m doing and praying for God to help me use my time efficiently and effectively. I long to be faithful to all that He has called me to do.
How do you balance a full life with the dreams God has breathed into your heart?
Cara C. Putman graduated high school at 16, college at 20, and completed her law degree at 27. An award-winning author of seventeen books with more on the way, she is active in women’s ministry at her church and is a lecturer on business and employment law to graduate students at Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management. Putman also practices law and is a second-generation homeschooling mom. Putman is currently pursuing her Master’s in Business Administration at Krannert. She serves on the executive board of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), an organization she has served in various roles since 2007. She lives with her husband and four children in Indiana. You can connect with her online at:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shadowed-by-grace-cara-putman/1115951174?ean=9781433681783
About the book:
Rachel Justice is desperate to save her dying mother. She doesn’t want to leave her, but she accepts her newspaper’s assignment to travel to Italy and photograph war images. No one knows her photography is a cover and that Rachel is really seeking to find the father she never knew, hopeful to get some help with her failing mother. Dedicated to her mission, Rachel is focused on completing it. Soon, though, she finds her priorities and plans changing when she is assigned to Lt. Scott Lindstrom, on mission as a Monument Man. Their meeting will have far-reaching consequences. Will this derail her plans? Will she ever find her father? Is her faith enough to carry her through?
People can read the first chapter here: http://caraputman.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Shadowed-by-Grace-chapter-excerpt.pdf
Kristena Tunstall says
Cara, thank you for sharing your journey with us. I think we can all related to being busy with being on the edge of chaos. We all have to try to implement time management skills, to the best of our ability that is.
I, too, homeschool my daughter. It’s been a challenge since we started last year when she was in the 4th grade. She tends to be a very strong-willed (hence stubborn) child. 🙂 My husband, Keith, and I know that she is getting a much better education this way compared to her going to a public school, or even a private school for that matter. She’s in 5th grade and one very smart girl. She is doing 7th grade math and literature. At times I’d love to put her back in school to free up my time to write, but then I know at this point in time that’s not what God wants me to do. She doing good where she’s at and it’s a blessing to watch her.
It’s amazing as I read each person’s writing journey as they share it on this site. I’m always touched and blessed by what each individual has gone through to get where they are at now whether published or not. Thank you again for sharing yours. I’ve been blessed as a result.
Michelle Welsh says
Thanks for sharing. It is nice to learn how others are juggling writing with family and work (home schooling). While we all juggle differently, it is encouraging to know that others share in the same goals, struggles, and blessings. It is also wonderful to see how God is working. That is so big. Sometimes we are so busy that we just can’t see it in ourselves. Hearing the testimonies helps to slow us down and see with new vision.
Penny Frost McGinnis says
Cara is an inspiration. She’s so upbeat and friendly. I appreciate her encouragement through Facebook. Great post!