Monday, June 16, 2014

Where Will Your Writing Take You?

Writing is a solitary pursuit—it’s you, your laptop, your thoughts and hours of tapping away to get those thoughts into a form someone may one day read.

If you believe your life has purpose and meaning, and that God will use you and your writing for a reason, where will it take you?

My journey began in teaching. I thought I would always be in a school and retire later in life, having had a fulfilling career. Mr Holland’s Opus is one of my favourite movies, and I saw myself as living out a similar life. (Except I don’t have a musical bone in my body!)

However, in 2000 I resigned my position, spent a year doing a post graduate education degree, then another few years where I wrote my first books, did some relief principal jobs, a research job and began training teachers in Cambodia.

All this seemed very bitsy, and I didn’t feel like I had left teaching completely. I was hanging onto it, but at the same time I didn’t feel like I had a ‘real’ job.

I knew quitting teaching would lead me into another season of life, but it didn’t make a lot of sense. I said to God that I would do whatever was in my hand to do.

I didn’t understand a lot of the why, but felt a compulsion to continue to write.

My husband also felt led to give up his career in the corporate world, and in 2009, took up photography professionally whilst still being a director of a company. Over the next three years he transitioned into photography full time.

We never thought we’d ever be able to work together, as over the years our careers were very separate and quite different. Now, we’ve written several photography books together, I edit articles for him, write web copy, write my own books—he does the photography for my books and we travel for several months of the year. 

Recently we spent a week in Seattle speaking to professionals in their 20’s and 30’s about life, philanthropy and work.

Sitting on a rooftop speaking to a group of shiny Seattleites, the sun sparkling off the mountains in the distance with my husband beside me was a long way from the classrooms of a high school.

If I hadn’t taken that leap in 2000, and if I hadn’t gone on to write my books, where would I be now? Still in the classroom enjoying teaching I’m sure—but sometimes God has other plans—plans we could never dream of or anticipate. 

Since the publication of my first book in 2004, writing has taken me on a journey of the soul, as well as a physical journey. God has taken me on a journey to places in the world, and in my soul, I never thought I'd reach.

Where has your writing taken you?

Elaine Fraser


  1. Thanks for sharing your journey Elaine. It's amazing how God leads us on those different paths. My husband and I were both Uni lecturers. My husband resigned last year after 20 years as a maths and computing lecturer. Then later in the year when a voluntary redundancy round was offered, I felt God leading me to take it and switch to writing full-time after 25 years as a psychology lecturer. It was amazing how God orchestrated it all. We've just started our own freelance writing and editing business, which seemed like a big jump to some people. However, I can see how God has been leading us in this new direction for ages. Your story encouraged me. We're just at the start of our new adventure, so it was great to hear how God has been working in the lives of you and your husband these past few years. May he continue to bless all of your endeavours. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for sharing your story, Elaine--lovely to hear about how God clearly guided you and your husband to make such big decisions. My life changes have included returning to high school teaching my thirties, then moving into editing, then secretarial work, then studying fulltime at theological college in my late forties for a BTh, then becoming part of a local church ministry team--then finally writing and speaking! God weaves everything together in our lives, don't you think? And like you, Elaine, I'm so glad I made that leap of faith into writing.

  3. Hi Elaine,
    You'd had a varied and interesting lot of life and career experiences, and it's always great to see your enthusiasm for writing shine. I'm encouraged by your sharing how you and husband decided to follow the creative pursuits close to your hearts as the same time, as it has been similar for me and mine. He quit accounting and ended up completing a Bachelor of Music recently. However, ours don't fit together as neatly as yours have done :) You've shown how a photographer and writer can work together and complement each other, which is harder for a saxophonist and writer, but we've been having fun :)

    1. I was glad to hear Paula about you and your Saxophonist husband - perhaps you could write lyrics and sing in between his saxophonist music??? :) I can just picture it.

    2. Anusha, that would be enough to make people run, believe me

  4. What a wonderful journey you & your husband are on, Elaine. Who would have thought 14 years ago you'd be experiencing that Seattle gig together?

    So important to keep walking with the Lord isn't it, so we can follow Him in where He wishes to lead us. Well done and looking forward to reading where He takes the 2 of you next.

  5. What a lovely post. Thanks so much Elaine. Loved reading about your journey - and you sure have done a LOT with your life. Isn't it awesome that your husband's career in photography and yours in writing came together so beautifully? God certainly knows what He's about.

    As for me I am at a bit of a cross roads right now - but looking forward to His continued leading in my writing journey as well as my life's journey. I believe He's giving me a bit of a sabbatical this year to take stock of my life - so while writing is high on the Agenda - I know He has many more good plans for me too.

    Thank you for encouraging us with your beautiful story. Many blessings to you my friend as you follow God's heart for you. I know you will continue to bless many young lives and many older lives too. Thank you for blessing mine.

  6. Thanks for your post Elaine. Heading off in a different direction can be scary at times but what an encouragement to know that God goes before us and wishes to bless.

  7. What an amazing journey you are on Elaine and how blessed to be able to share it with your husband. Thank you for sharing your story. Moving out our comfort zone can certainly be a challenge but with God on our side, leading and guiding our steps, how can we lose.

    I was a bit of a late bloomer with regards to writing, but accepting the challenge that was placed before me, however scary it seemed at the time, has brought nothing but wonder and awe at what God has done in my life.

    It is stories like yours that inspire me so much to keep working to improve my own writing. Many blessings to you and Steve.

  8. Wonderful story.. I hope I can be half as adventurous as you... but if the Lord leads hus sheep follow. For me, being published has meant that ive had to move beyond a 15 yesr crippling anxiety complex to present my story in front of lots of people in places I used to not even be able to walk inside. But.. Where God leads.. we follow.

  9. A lovely story of the Lord's leading, Elaine. And a true journey of the soul. And thanks for sharing.

    I am often amazed at how I began as an artist in a family ceramics studio. Met my husband and both of us were led into full time evangelism. Writing lyrics and music to Christian songs. Then a radio ministry and now writing faith-based novels. An interesting journey in which we've grown closer to the Lord and each other.