Stirring Our First Love

ACFWAdvice, Authors and writing, Friends of ACFW, writing 2 Comments

By Davalynn Spencer

Today I’m enjoying the seclusion of a Rocky Mountain hideaway tucked into a shaded bend of the roaring Arkansas River. The occasion? My wedding anniversary.

A few days off from the demands of full-time writing and full-time life help me focus on the important person and unique event that changed the course of my path.

“I do” was a high-priced promise.

Those two little words spoken so long ago were life-changers. That’s one of the things I love about words—and writing them. They can open a person’s heart to a new way of living. Remind them that they are loved, or encourage them to trust, take a chance, forgive.

In many ways, writing is similar to marriage. It requires faithfulness, hard work, and resistance to discouragement. Fidelity means saying no to other things so we can say yes to our commitment.

Since writing comes with such weighty responsibility, maybe we should celebrate a few of our authorly anniversaries as well.

When did we make that first promise to ourselves? The one in which we said,

“Someday, I will write.”

Along the way, as we carved out time and space, perhaps we gritted our teeth and said:

“I will write.”

And over time, our promise may have distilled into simple declaration:

“I write.”

Anniversaries tie into appreciation. The act of remembering has a way of refreshing our earlier commitment and stirring our first love.

Even though I will never forget the date of my wedding, I make special note of it on my yearly desk calendar. Maybe I draw a heart, or write the number of years, or pen the location of a secret getaway.

Could we do the same for significant landmarks along our paths to authorship? What about an Author Anniversary “calendar” that commemorates the following:

Completion (including year!) of our first story.

Entry of our first contest.

Our first agent query.

Submission of our first proposal.

Our first writer’s conference.

The first contest we won or placed in.

When we signed with an agent.

When we signed our first publishing contract.

When we published our first indie book.

The first dollar we earned – whether traditionally or independently.

Other mile markers could also be acknowledged, such as consistent word-count and financial reward. Number of books published. Number of copies sold.

Each Author Anniversary calendar would reflect personal accomplishments regardless of how large or small.

Looking back on our writing journey encourages us to recognize that we stayed the course. It inspires us to polish our plans and fortifies us to look to the future.

For me, writing and marriage have converged like the streams that feed the Arkansas River. My spouse and the life we’ve shared have impacted countless published nonfiction articles, interviews, and devotions and also flavored my Western-romance heroes. Every blacksmith or bronc-buster, rodeo clown or ranch hand carries a trait of one man who actually did each of those things and more.

And like the river, my writing continues to flow in the same direction, between the same banks, yet always with new water – new ideas, new goals, new dreams.

How could it not?

For I’ll be forever #lovingthecowboy.

Remembering stirs our first love. @davalynnspencer #ACFWBlogs #amwriting Click To Tweet

Wife and mother of professional rodeo bullfighters, Davalynn Spencer can’t stop #lovingthecowboy. She writes Western romance with rugged heroes, teaches writing workshops, and plays the keyboard on her church worship team – when she’s not wrangling Blue the Cowdog and mouse detectors Annie and Oakley. Connect with her at




Comments 2

  1. Beautifully written, Davalynn. Thank you for sharing this.

    Bit different here…

    Between Scylla and Charybdis,
    there’s not so much to choose.
    You lash out with voice or fists,
    but you are marked to lose.
    I guess one cancer was not enough,
    even though it was pancreatic,
    so lymphoma had to make it tough,
    like swimming the Atlantic.
    I mark no special days of yore;
    survival is now my daily bread,
    and I must forget what’s gone before
    as sentiment makes one dead.
    Life’s now a heavy-metal grind
    that offers, oddly, peace of mind.

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