Last updated on July 30, 2023
As an author who provides sports captioning for television, sometimes my passions merge, giving me an unorthodox way of thinking about writing.
For many years, I wasn’t on a writing team. I’d write when I felt like it and then set it aside for long periods—until I published Children of Dreams – An Adoption Memoir and joined the indie-publishing team.
For those who aren’t sports fanatics, most stars take years to make. Almost all of those giants who are household names are not only incredibly gifted but also had a lot of help along the way—i.e., avoided injury-ending careers, had astute coaches, supportive parents, and—most of all—opportunity. The stars also worked very hard, in season and out of season, and a wee bit of luck thrown in never hurts.
A star in the making doesn’t know it will be a star until it happens. Isn’t that what motivates us? The possibility, no matter how small, that someone somewhere will see us as a diamond in the rough and take a chance on us?
Maybe we need scouts in the writing world like we have in sports. Perhaps we need minor leagues and major leagues like in baseball. We already have the fans—how many readers would love to discover the next CS Lewis?
What I like most about sports is the competitors’ passion to win. The best-of-the-best train constantly when they feel like it and when they don’t. They never give up and often travel to the ends of the earth to hone their skills and compete in leagues and competitions no one has ever heard of.
Am I willing to do that? Am I willing to sacrifice my life to achieve my goal of becoming a full-time, self-supporting author?
The call of being a mother, taking care of my family, serving in my church, and helping others takes up much of my time. Little time remains after working a full-time job as a broadcast captioner. I have to set my priorities and accept my limitations.
But that doesn’t mean that magic can’t happen or God can’t make my dreams come true. Nothing worthwhile in life is easy. While I can’t give writing a hundred percent of my time, I can give my writing a hundred percent of me when I am writing—which often requires me to cut out other things I’d like to do but can’t.
Despite the sacrifice, the indie team works well for me. Until I can write for a living, I appreciate the freedom it gives me to write—even all night sometimes. I never limit my dreams—maybe one of my books will become a New York Times best-seller. I would compare that to hitting it out of the ballpark. If we don’t have big dreams, we will settle for mediocrity, which is a waste when we see the stuff God gives us for our lives.
In the meantime, I’m content to learn from others further down the road and hone my skills. Most important of all, I want to enjoy the journey. I am reminded of a saying I recently heard while captioning. “Stars aren’t born; they are made.”
When you look at the night sky, look for the high-energy dust particles forming colorful nebulae. In the same way that the Creator’s gifts lie in wait to form a star, the raw talent hidden in an author is magnificent when it makes its way onto the pages of a great novel.
Passion is the key. Hopes of hitting it out of the ballpark keep me going. In the meantime, I’m glad to make it to first base and create a little spark. Who knows, perhaps someday, my little spark will become a shining star for the Kingdom of God.
Lorilyn graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Alabama in 1991. Her studies included spending two weeks in Israel at the start of the Gulf War and touring England, Australia, New Zealand, and several European countries. She later attended the Institute of Children’s Literature and earned her Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Perelandra College.
Lorilyn has two daughters she adopted from Nepal and Vietnam as a single mother. She homeschooled both of them, the older one through high school, and believes that the hope of the United States may rest on the conservative values homeschooling families instill in their offspring.
“If we fail to teach our children how to live out their Christian faith practically, we will have lost an opportunity to impact the world for good. It only takes one generation to forget the past. As JRR Tolkien said, ‘There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.’”