How do you REALLY know if writing is what you were put on this earth to do? Especially when there are so many other things in life that you enjoy doing?

I love to decorate for example. And for awhile, I thought for sure that was my calling. I consider myself somewhat talented at making rooms look nice. I know what looks good and where to place things. I am always rearranging furniture, buying new knick knacks or rearranging the old, and constantly drumming new decorating ideas in my head. So one day, I decided to take a class. It was a long distance type class a lot like the ICL course. Although I enjoyed it, I found myself taking shortcuts and rushing at the last minute to just get each assignment done. I thought I was in to it but when I completed the final assignment, I really screwed up. I just wanted it finished so I really took a shortcut and the teacher was able to see that, therefore I passed the course and got my certificate but the instructor scolded me and told me I was really not ready to make a living at this. I wasn’t focused enough. I just thought the teacher didn’t know what they were talking about and I continued on.

It wasn’t until I started writing that I realized that although I still loved decorating, it was NOT my calling. From the very first story I began writing, I knew right then and there that I was put on this earth to write children’s stories. And when I took the ICL course, I took absolutely NO shortcuts and gave it nothing but my total all. I loved every second of it.

My husband and I were never lucky enough to have children of our own, but I have always dearly loved little kids. My nieces and nephews proved this to me as soon as they were born. I have always had a secret knack somewhere inside myself to be able to talk and communicate with little children. Maybe it’s that “goofiness” inside my heart that is able to come out when I am around a small child that I am not able to fully bring out when I’m with an adult. I’ve never been one to dance, sing, or act physically silly around an adult comfortably, however with a child… I can bring it out full force!

When I was decorating, it did bring joy to my heart to create something I considered beautiful, however it never felt ANYTHING like the joy in my heart when I create a story for kids! And when I hear that a child liked my story, well just about nothing feels better to me than knowing that.

So that’s my story of how I discovered what I was put on this earth to do. It’s a pretty simple story but has made a HUGE impact on my life. Have you discovered your calling and if so, what is it and how did it come about?

Is everyone ready for the holidays!!??


  1. Nice post, Allyn. I'm happy for you that you feel you've discovered your life's purpose. I know just what you mean. I'm extremely fortunate to have many things I love and am good at. But I've noticed that writing is the skill that's been with me all my life, even if my use for it has changed.

    And yes, I am totally ready for the holidays. I'm in holiday scrambling mode, and I like it! Bring it on, and I'll squeeze it into my schedule somehow!

  2. I'm with you, Anne. Bring on the holidays! I even have all my shopping done except for my hubby. Now on to baking some goodies!

  3. Hi Allyn. It's so nice that you've discovered your true calling. I think our purpose changes as we go through life.
    I remember when we had our first daughter and I realized that being a mom was what I was meant to do. I felt that same assurance when I decided to homeschool both daughters. Teaching them felt like my purpose. Now there's being a caregiver for my parents. Through it all, writing has been there as well. And although the timing wasn't always right to devote myself to it, I knew it was something I was meant to be doing and sometimes keeping at it is what kept me sane.

  4. I agree with ou inluvwithwords. In life there are seasons, stages and we all reach them at different times. We were born to do many things in life, our calling is the stage we are in. :-)

  5. Hi Allyn,
    Your story is a lot like my own but not exactly. I knew that I wanted to write for children when I was elementary school. You're right. It feels so natural to let go and be silly or communicate with kids. It seems harder to do with adults. I'm working on this!

  6. Ooh, I like the way you inluvwithwords and Cynthia summed it up. It is so true that living life is just like living the different seasons. I am enjoying my season of writing but realize that stage could change at some point, I hope not, but it could. Marriage is also a season and changes about every 3 or 4 months!!

  7. Deb,

    I'm trying harder to feel more relaxed around adults too but it just seems so much harder, more stressful, more expected of how you should act or react to things. Kids just want fun and silly so it makes it so much simpler!!

  8. Al, what a great story. I took the ICL course right out of highschool, and I know I didn't learn nearly as much as I could have. I stopped writing for several years, but now that I've picked it back up, I know I will never "quit" again. Writing is my passion--my calling!

  9. Good for you, Katie! I had no clue I wanted to write back in H.S. so you were lucky you discovered it so early even if you did stop for awhile. I hope I never stop either as it really has gotten me through some rough patches along the way! I'm sure it does that for you too.

  10. I've wanted to be a writer since I was in elementary school. It wasn't even a decision I made. It was just part of me.

  11. Kelly,
    I wanted to be a singer and it definitely was a lie!! Anyway, I'm glad your "dream" has worked out so well for you.

  12. I have always wanted to write, something. I started writing songs when I was 11, many years ago. Since high school, I have been in bands, playing guitar, singing, and writing songs. I also tried writing short stories. I had received single song publishing contracts for five of my songs, including to of my children's songs. The music was easy. The reason I didn't pursue "writing" was because my lack of grammar and punctuation skills. Before I took the ICL course, I made myself take an online course in grammar and punctuation, it helped a lot, though I still struggle with it.

    For years I would look at the Writers Digest course add: "Does your grammar make editors groan?" or something like that, but would never invest in myself. About two years ago I did. Sometimes we know what we want to do, but find excuses to justify not doing it.

    Almost ready for Christmas.

  13. Lovely post, Allyn! I didn't used to think I could follow my dreams and I'd mickey-moused around facing myself and what I really wanted to do for a long time. I knew I'd always loved stories. I love reading and making things up in my head. And in recent years, I've also grown very fond of tutoring kids. I like how an encouraging word can help them take the next step. Studying in Singapore is really stressful. Sometimes I think I'm not as good a teacher as I am an encourager. I know now my calling is to write stories and to teach on one-on-one basis: to send tinges of faith, comfort and courage to the young ones.

    (Oh, and I do feel I can connect more with kids rather than adults, too.)

  14. If I could choose between singing and writing, I don't know which one I'd lean toward. Writing has always been in my life. I've got a picture back from when I was really little where I'm lying on the floor on my stomach with my feet kicked up in the air, and I'm doodling. I guess you can say I've been writing since I was walking!

    But singing... have you ever sung a song and felt the music rushing through your blood as though you were an instrument? Have you ever looked at the faces of people you are singing for and seen that "Wow" look on their face? For me, music and writing are intermixed. They both have that punch, that WOW factor. I'm just so thankful that God gave me the ability (and hopefully, the drive) the share my passion and love with the rest of the world.

  15. Me, I didn't realize I wanted to be a writer for a living. All I knew for sure was that loved to tell stories, anykind.

    As an adult, I think I am am pretty good at a lot of differant things but I do not excel in those other things.

    Although I struggle with writing now and then, I am at least able to make my way and enjoy it all the same.


  16. Rick,

    That's wonderful about your song writing career, keep up the good work! Not sure I could write a song.
    My grammar is horrible too and I cringe when I'm confronted with it but I do my best. I have an editor look over almost everything I submit. Thank god for people who know what they are doing!

  17. Cat,

    If I really had a good singing voice, to me that would be the ultimate. I always wanted to sing like Barbra Streisand in every way. Even her mannerisms, she just seems so... into it. But although I can carry a tune and harmonize, my solo voice... ugh. I sang a solo once and felt exactly how you explain but didn't see the audience's look of "wow" in their faces. I had to give up my dream after that!

  18. Courtney,
    I think all of us writers struggle with our writing, more times than we like to admit! But we love it so we keep on struggling. And by the way, you DO exceed at your writing ability! I love your writing style.

  19. What a great post! I think the story of how you found your calling was interesting. I have found my calling after trying a hundred different jobs. Nothing was quite right for me until I started writing. I love to write and get caught up in my stories. I feel so happy when I am writing.

    Thanks for sharing!

  20. Great post! It is tough to know what to do with multiple talents... But may we never waste a gift.

    Thanks for the post. It was encouraging.

  21. I have to tell you, when I bought a couple of your books, the kids I gave them to, LOVED your book. In fact, one thought you knew him personnally and wrote it just for him. It made him feel special. He is now trying new things and learning to eat more almost every day. Yes, you have found your calling. You touch the hearts of little kids and help them want to read. Keep on writing your childrens books. Your fans love you and they are lucky to have someone who cares so much.

  22. Thanks Fairday & John for your comments. I'm glad this post was encouraging.

    Deb - I couldn't ask for a better comment about my book than yours and I really needed that. Thanks so much.