My name is Heather, and I’m a hope*writer.

When I was a little girl, I wrote in diaries. My best friend and I would write plays for the neighborhood and perform them in the backyard. I wrote poems and even attempted a few novels.

My mom found my “first published book” when she was cleaning recently– a book of poems with my own illustrations and a funny self-written “About Me” section that talked about my many publications (hopeful dreaming?).

When I was in middle school, I won an essay contest called “What Safety Means to Me,” and I drew comparisons between Dorothy’s unsafe moves in the Wizard of Oz and how we can be more aware of our surroundings in today’s world. It was creative, but definitely a stretch. 😉

For college writing and theatre assignments, I loved digging into hard topics that looked at the tension between faith and mental health, or vulnerability and shame, or wrestling with doubt about God. I wrote plays and articles and journalism pieces. I even wrote fun travel blogs from my time abroad in Italy.

Somewhere along the way, though, I started worrying about how others would receive my words if I put them out there. It was too difficult to put the harder things I experienced into words, and I feared what would happen if anyone ever read those words. I kept my words inside, or at the very most, inside of my private journals.

As God’s healing touch has reached down into my life over the past few years, I have come to see that writing is not just something I like to do. It is part of who I am. I write to figure out how I feel. I write to praise God. I write to encourage others that they are not alone.

I’ve been publicly writing again for this past year, and it seems like things have just clicked into place. I understand more about the world and myself, and it feels like an act of worship to the Creator who made me to be creative.

Last year, I took a huge leap of faith and joined an amazing writing community. I went from insecurity about putting my words out into the world to confidence that THIS is part of who I am. I am a writer. I can now say that without imposter syndrome or second-guessing myself 😉

Through this community, I have:

-gained valuable resources to grow in my craft

-built my writing habit (I used to write whenever “inspiration” hit- now it is a part of my regular routine several days a week)

-clarified who I’m writing for (this has been one of the most helpful and freeing areas of growth!)

-made incredible relationships with other writers

-created a weekly guest posting collaborative through Freedom Stories

-started a book proposal

A favorite quote of mine is from “Chariots of Fire.” Eric Liddell, an Olympic runner, says, “I run because I feel God’s pleasure in it.” I am so thankful to Hope*Writers for helping me fully step into my calling as a writer.

I write because I feel God’s pleasure in it.

If you have a dream that has often pressed on your heart or surged to the surface when you let it, what is it? What is the thing you do that makes you feel most alive or fulfilled? What would it look like for you to fully step into that?