How I Started Writing

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by Angela Hunt

Hel-looo, ACFW!

This is my first blog post here, so I thought I’d introduce myself to those of you I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting. I’m a mom, Nana, and keeper of Chickens and Very Big Dogs. I live in Florida. I’ve flown to New York so my dog could be on Regis and Kelly, I’m married to the world’s oldest youth pastor, and I have a caboose in my front yard. And yes, I write. And take pictures. And occasionally throw paint onto canvases.

never dreamed of being a writer. Never fantasized about writing the Great American Novel, never dreamed of living in a garret and suffering for the sake of my Art. I’m a practical person, more focused on the nuts and bolts of things than the whys and wherefores. 
But apparently I’ve always had a natural aptitude for words and I’ve always been a reader. So when a trusted friend suggested that I change my college major from music to English, the idea of working with words appealed more than singing on the road for the rest of my life. I’d been doing that, you see, and my voice was tired and my suitcase worn out.

So I graduated from college with a degree in English Lit, taught high school English for a year, then worked at a large church writing curriculum. I kept telling myself that when the time was right, I’d quit my job and actually become a writer.

One day, I knew the time had come. Not sure how I knew, but I had a husband who could support the family, so I had stationery and business cards printed up: freelance writer for hire. I mailed those cards and a brief letter to every advertising agency and magazine in my mid-sized town, then I was amazed at the responses. To my surprise, a great many business people were happy to hire someone else to write letters, brochures, and advertising copy. I studied books on how to write effective letters, brochures, and advertising copy, then set about establishing a reputation for being fast and dependable. I figured I might not be the most talented fish in the sea, but at least I could be prompt and diligent.

Then I learned . . . from my employers and from my mistakes. For five years I worked for magazines and businesses, and I learned as I went along. I read and relentlessly studied books on the craft of writing. I rewrote and polished and rewrote again. Best of all, I earned (not a lot, but some) while I learned.

Angela Hunt, author of 165 books, talks about how she started writing. #writing #ACFW Click To Tweet

In 1988, an artist friend and I entered a contest for unpublished children’s book authors. After studying a book on how to write children’s picture books, I wrote a manuscript, my friend added the three required sketches, and we sent in our entry. A few months later, we learned that out of 500 entries, our manuscript won first place–and first prize was publication. If I Had Long, Long Hair was my first book.

So my route to publication wasn’t a quick road, but it was a sure one. And the best lesson I learned was to walk through the doors God opened. To be obedient. Isn’t that the basis of the Christian life? To stay on the path and listen to the Spirit’s voice.

Oh, and that dog? He was on Regis and Kelly because he weighed 275 pounds. And he STILL didn’t win the title of “world’s biggest dog.”  Note: The Regis dog is now in heaven. The dog in the photo is new. 🙂

Angela Hunt is the author of 165 books for children and adults. You can read more about her work at




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