This blog is to share my journey, in the hopes of encouraging others and to record what I go through for my own reference. I hope it encourages everybody who reads it and helps with their faith and their own hopes. Specifically, it will be documenting how I went from being an IT professional building networks and securing them, to a full time writer, which is my true passion.
I began writing in high school as an escape from a dysfunctional family. My siblings were great but my parents were tearing each other apart, before and after they split up. Writing was an escape where I could make up worlds and live in them while I created adventures within. I was a faithless Catholic at the time, meaning I believed God existed but had no relationship or belief in his power to work in my life. He was a good but uninvolved father to me. It was during this period that I wrote my first book, by hand, on college ruled, three-hole punched paper. This first draft of Fate Rides Wicked took one hundred forty two hand written pages. I took it to college in a gray, soft-cover binder.
In college I spent hours in the computer lab on Leading Edge IBM clones rewriting the book and expanding the lives of the characters in WordPerfect 4.x and 5.x. I still found escape in the writing, and the book grew close to what it is today, four hundred thirteen pages in a 6×9 paperback. In college I had fallen completely away from Catholicism, fluctuating between agnostic, atheist and Buddhist. I also possessed the firm belief that there was no way I could get published and make money as an author. All I heard was how lucky you have to be and how hard it is to even find a publisher to take it. So I resigned myself to writing as a hobby.
On my twenty second birthday, as the result of a story for another day, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. Eight months after being saved, I married my first wife in 1991. In the late 1990s I published Fate Rides Wicked: Vol I of the Lerilon Trilogy using the self-publishing site 1stBooks.com, which later became AuthorHouse.com. I continued to write and work on Volume II, still convinced this would just be by hobby and I would have to keep working a “day job” to pay the bills.
I know I’m writing this as if I’m already writing as my career, but I’m not as of this blog. At this point this blog becomes about my faith journey that is kicking off my career change journey. I think the most important part of this history I’m going to record is in how I so strongly believe I will write for a living someday soon.
As it is for most Christians, my relationship with Christ has been a growing one. What this means is that I have come to understand Him, His word and what He can do over time, through one experience after another. In the mid-1990s this meant dealing with the hurt of my teenage years and forgiving everyone I felt had hurt me. Learning to forgive began there and I’ve only become good at it over the last ten years. At that time, my lack of forgiveness manifested itself as bitter anger that caused me to lash out at people. There were valuable lessons there for me about the purpose and character of anger, but again, another blog.
In 2001 I was ordained by a large Southern Baptist church in Fresno, while serving as head pastor at another SB church in town. I served that church for five years before moving back to my college town of Salem, Oregon. The entire time I worked in the IT field, as the small church I pastored couldn’t afford to pay me full time. In the end that small church hurt me deeply and my faith took a hit. I further fell away when the marriage ministry we moved to Salem to start never got traction and I had to return to technology work.
After my first full time job, where I worked for two and a half years, I had thirteen jobs in twelve years. It was the height of the internet bubble building and technology professionals were in high demand. I jumped at the next higher paying job every time the recruiter called or I was even mildly unhappy where I was. It took all those changes to realize that salary was way less important in working than a good boss, a company culture I fit into, and job satisfaction.
Yet, when I changed jobs on my own initiative, I ended up regretting where I landed, more often than not. Finally, in 2001 I fully surrendered my job situation to God. I let him have it. On the day I let go, He brought a young woman, a coworker, to me who asked me to share about my faith. The Sunday after she accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior, I was offered a job as the California Baptist Foundation that I would still be working today if I hadn’t forced my way into marriage ministry when God wasn’t in it. God demonstrated that when my first wife left me three years after moving up here and I became single again nine months later.
To be continued. If you’re curious about my writing, my books are available at my Amazon author website
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton