Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Do you want it enough?

Have you ever had a dream you longed to come to life so much that you’d do just about anything? Enough you cut out most T.V.? Enough you gave up hours of sleep to see what would happen?

When I first started writing in 2005, I had two young children (five and two), worked four days a week as an attorney, and was very active in our church. Yet, the fire to write had ignited, and I tested the dream. I started plotting and brainstorming, then I wrote. I gave myself two years to work hard and see if I could write anything publishable.

Soon I had cut T.V., a practice I’d adopted while working full time and going to law school. I allowed myself one show a week. During law school it was E.R., which came on at 10 p.m. Thursdays, the perfect time to stop the studying and relax. It’s a practice I still have today, when I allow myself to follow Castle.

Throughout 2005 after a commitment to a weekly word count, what became my second published book, Deadly Exposure, slowly grew. Then after attending my first ACFW conference, I wrote my first published book Canteen Dreams in three weeks of very late nights, and I discovered something critical: When my passion collides with a story, the words flow freely.

Fast-forward seven years, and in April my 13th novel will release. Today those late night writing hours continue. Now I have four children (ages eleven to one), I still practice law a bit, I teach law at a Big Ten University and local community college, and continue to be involved in ACFW and our church. But much remains the same. To write a book like A Wedding Transpires on Mackinac Island, I have to find the combination a passion for the story and commitment to write set word counts in the pockets of time around an active family.  

For A Wedding Transpires on Mackinac Island, the setting provided a unique escape with its step back from modern hustle and bustle to a time when horses and bicycles provided transportation.  Next a passion of mine is exploring the ways God is with us when we can’t see Him. For Alanna, this occurs when life forces her to return home and confront the past she’s avoided for 11 years. An attorney Alana wants to avoid the cloud of the past and a love she abandoned.  When she uncovers a family secret and an old friend is murdered, she has no choice but to confront the past and its lies.

If writing is your dream, are you willing to do what it takes to make room in your life to do the work? Examine your schedule. If it’s truly important to you, you can find pockets of time to write. Even 500 words, five days a week, will result in a complete first draft in a year. So clear your calendar, sit down, and write.  Dreams, even writing dreams, come true. 

Cara C. Putman lives in Indiana with her husband and four children. She’s an attorney, teacher at her church, and contract lecturer or adjunct faculty at a local community college and Big Ten University. She has loved reading and writing from a young age and now realizes it was all training for writing books. An honors graduate of the University of Nebraska and George Mason University School of Law, Cara loves bringing history and romance to life.  You can learn more about Cara and her books on her websiteFacebooktwitter, and pinterest.


  1. Congrats on your success!

    I do work full time and write. My kids are grown and in college, so I do have more time to devote to writing now. Looking forward to reading your book!

  2. Yes! To write and be published takes sacrifice just as the athlete must sacrifice to tone up and get ready for the Olympics, skipping goodies and free time. This is a great post -- I've often wondered how you do it! Now I know! God bless, Cara! I admire you!

  3. Thanks, Cara, for this article. It's what I needed.

    I work full time and have other irons in the fire besides trying to get my first book publisher ready and still continuing to write. And I'm thinking of something else that would even take more time. So what am I called to do? (Sometimes, it's a combination of wanting and what is the most urgent.)

    A note. Am I saying writing is unimportant for me? No, because I gave up Toastmasters (I've been with them for ten years) and songwriting for that purpose to develop my writing craft.