Last Friday was a special day for me. It’s the day my high school English teacher and I connected after 34 years! I tracked her down and sent her a letter last week. Why? Because I wanted to thank her for believing in me as a writer.
When I was in middle school, I had a teacher who made us keep a journal. I sort of liked it and so I continued writing in spiral notebooks for a few years. I’m sure they were filled with teenage angst and if I find them, I will be sure to burn them. But the practice of processing through writing sort of stuck with me.
During my teen years, my dad would often refer to my room as my “cave.” Little did he know I was practicing in front of the mirror to become the next Olivia Newton-John. I’m still waiting, Hollywood!
My cave was also my place to write. I filled notebooks with fictional stories – of girls with teenage drama, angst and puppy love. Because I wrote in my “cave,” I don’t think my family knew writing interested me. It was a very personal thing for me.
In high school, I had a teacher who encouraged me to write. She singled me out to attend a seminar on writing. The very fact she believed in me enough to send me to a writing event has encouraged me throughout the years.
I don’t think my parents knew I loved to write and very few of my friends did either. It was so personal.
Then one day I shared a few writings with a few friends and they encouraged me to share with others. So, now I have a blog.
Oh, and I published a book. That makes me an author.
I had a dream to be a writer and I had a teacher who encouraged me to follow my dream.
But we still don’t know who Shelly D is, do we?
When I was a young girl with a dream in her heart to be a writer, somewhere I heard authors had pen names – that they didn’t use their real names. So I thought up a pen name.
Shelly D – without a period. My middle name is Diane and family sometimes called me “Shelly D” so it all made since to my pre-teen mind. Now I realize a pen name is a completely different name one uses to hide their true identity, for branding or just to be catchy.
For years I have signed cards and letters as Shelly D
Shelly D was a reminder of a dream I kept in my heart for many years.
Today, I had coffee with a woman who daily faces extreme medical issues and yet, she talked about her dreams and her hopes. She talked about the new things she wanted to do and to accomplish. So many people in her situation would struggle to get out of bed – yet she is full of life, expectation, hope and dreams. And she daily sprinkles, and sometimes drenches, others with her hope and inspires them to dream. She is dreaming about how to make the love of Jesus known.
And so we dreamed together.
So who is Shelly D? She’s a young girl with a dream.
Do you have a dream? What is it? Do you need someone to encourage you in your dream like my English teacher did so many years ago?
Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12
So encourage each other and build each other up,
just as you are already doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Note: if you have a signed copy of my book and have wondered why I didn’t write out my full name, now you know.
Want to read my book? You can learn more about it here