By five years old, I knew what I wanted to do with my life.

It started with a poem.

Then I wrote a play.

By ten years old, I was writing “books” on the typewriter in my room, and a stack of papers rose higher and higher on the corner of the desk. I had typed Chapter One at the top of every page, but I’d tire of the first story by the time I got to the bottom, and I’d start writing a new story. No one told me how hard it would be to make it to the second or third page, much less how hard it would be to make it to Chapter Two.

Don’t ask me how I felt so sure, but I knew I would live the rest of my life as a writer. There is a scene in the film classic Chariots of Fire in which Eric Liddell says, “God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.” That is what I knew about myself. God made me a writer. And when I write, I feel His pleasure. Undeniably, I sensed the warmth of His favor, the assurance of His smile.

In high school, my pursuit of writing found a specific shape: I would become a journalist, I decided. Later, in college, I declared broadcast journalism as my major. I didn’t know it yet, but that would be one of the last decisions I would make in the section of my life I now call Chapter One.

No one told me how hard it would be to make it to Chapter Two …

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