I’m reading Mary Pierce’s first book, “When Did I Stop Being Barbie & Become Mrs. Potato Head?” (I don’t remember when I authorized her to write my autobiography, but she did a smashing job!) Tonight her words encouraged me tremendously. Here’s the Vicki version of what Mary shared…with my own spin.

How did I learn to be a mother? First, I had to become a mother.

How did I learn to be a speaker? First, I had to start speaking to groups.

How did I learn to be 30-something…and sooner than I care to admit, 40-something? First, I had to become 30-something.

I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the point. One might ask another, “How did you learn to be deaf? …or…How did you learn to be a widow? …or…How did you learn to be a missionary? In every case the answer is the same.

First, you become. Then you learn to be what you’ve become.

How did I learn to share the gospel? First, I had to share the gospel.
How did I learn to write non-fiction? First, I had to write non-fiction.

Mary’s encouragement was delivered in God’s perfect timing. As I was printing out my current draft of my first novel, Small Town Sin, I was seriously thinking about putting it in a bottom drawer and leaving it there. Self-doubt is bubbling out my ears right now. However, tonight I’m hanging on to this truth for me…

How will I learn to be an author of women’s Christian fiction? First, I have to write women’s Christian fiction.

I have to make my own way on this journey. I have to learn to sift through the chaff of what I read in the craft books and hear from critiques, and sort out what is worth keeping and blow the rest away. If it’s meant to be kept, it will find its way back to me again. But no matter what, I know that as I sift and blow, I will keep on writing and learning…because “first you become, and then you learn to be.”