The Climb

For years I’d sensed a calling that God wanted me to write fiction. But I feared every aspect of the process. I did nothing except dream about writing, conjure stories in my head, and claim that “someday I’m going to write a book.”

/writing-essentials/”>Writing Essentials course.

How sad to hold onto a dream, know it is from God, and yet have too many fears and doubts to take a leap of faith.

The husband dare

One day my husband said, “Stop telling me you’re going to write a book. Just do it! Quit your job and see what you can do.” I’ve never been one to turn my back on a challenge, so I took him up on his challenge and began gathering the tools needed to learn the art of writing.

No more excuses

This became my new full-time job. I began reading books about the craft and novels by authors I admired in the genre in which I wanted to write. I joined /conference/”>writing conferences.

I wrote every day—whether I felt like it or not. I prayed for guidance, wisdom, and to overcome my fears. Note the number of “I’s” in this list.

  • I had to do the work (with an understanding that God would work through me)
  • I had to be willing to pay the price, and
  • I would, through the help of God, reach publication. Success required determination.

In the first year I sold magazine articles, short stories, and devotions while working on my first novel: a historical romance. Two years after my husband’s dare the historical novel was released by Barbour Publishing for their Heartsong Presents line. I never went back to my old job.

Today, I have more than 50 books in print, which have sold more than 1.5 million copies.

Are you ready?

If you’re just beginning your writing ministry, I recommend diligence. Approach writing as a job. The Bible says to work as for the Lord (Colossians 3:23), and that means giving your best.

I remember struggling and needing answers and guidance, so I now have a passion to help others improve. As you begin (or continue) your journey, remember that the mentors and staff at the Guild are here to encourage and guide you.

DiAnn Mills is an award-winning author and the Craftsman mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. Her website is


  1. Irene Olumese says

    Dear DiAnn, this is inspiring. For years I have dreamt about writing and did some without due dilligence. This year, I laid down my excuses and started learning more about the craft while taking the time to write. I have noted the “I’s” in the list. I need wisdom and guidance. I am struggling to get it right but I am staying with it. Thanks for putting the wind under my wings today. God bless you.

  2. says

    DiAnn, I attended your week long class at BRMCWC 2010. But I’m pleased to see that my journey began much like yours. After the conference I came home and submitted an article to the local newspaper which resulted in request for multiple articles in the last 12 months.
    I appreciate your encouragement and I just obtained a job as Circulation Manager for a Christian publication. After two years searching for a job it seems God planned it all along. Now with the income I can enroll in the Christian Writers Guild classes. Maybe you’ll be my mentor! God Bless.

  3. Michael Sayre says

    Dear DiAnn

    I think that this is a very encouraging story! But, I also think that this does not apply to everyone. At this time, I am going to buckle down and write. But, I will not quit my day job. Only if I know for sure that I can quit current job and begin writing. I am glad to hear that you have been successful in your career, that is great!

    May God Bless your writing,


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