Today it’s my joy to welcome Five Minute Friday community member Katharina von Dessien. I recently received an email from Katha about a friend’s project, and in her message to me, she shared, “I just signed a book contract and I can’t wait to share it with my writing friends! This definitely wouldn’t have been possible without my FMF writing inspiration!” Naturally, I wanted to hear more about how Five Minute Friday has impacted Katha’s writing life, so I asked her to share for all of our benefit.
When I was in fourth grade, I wrote my first book.
Well, technically I rewrote the story of Anne of Green Gables, a quirky girl who ends up in a small town with rather pessimistic people. Through chronic optimism and joyful demeanor she manages to turn this town’s perspective around.
My book had two copies, one for my teacher, one for my parents. After that, my writing was buried in years of journalistic experiments, traveling the world, growing up.
About four years ago, I wrote my first post for Five Minute Friday.
I was so nervous about the words I had strung together in such a short amount of time and now had to share with the world.
But I had nothing to fear because they ended up with a great community of fellow writers.
My initial wobbly steps were welcomed with encouraging feedback, my first feeble attempts with uplifting comments.
Writing once a week has changed how I view the world and sharpened my perspective.
I see nature’s diversity, I listen to people’s stories, I taste a meal, I enjoy good company and I find…God. He’s the greatest storyteller and I just have to watch how He unfolds and creates beauty in our lives.
When I write, I mostly preach to myself.
Be still, my soul and see beauty.
Look out for my wonders in the mundane narratives of your life.
And yet, when I hit publish, these words become so much more.
They establish a connection between two strangers who get to marvel at the world together. They turn perspectives around, so that others are brave enough to find God in unexpected places. They echo in people’s lives in ways I had never intended.
The Five Minute Friday writing community is a little bit like Anne of Green Gables.
With perseverance and optimism, with quirkiness and a joyful demeanor we manage to turn each other’s perspectives around.
The one who grapples with grief – we mourn with you.
The one who asks deep questions – we wait with you.
The one who rejoices over life’s goodness – we celebrate with you.
The one who takes a risk and believes in a dream – we cheer for you.
A few weeks ago I signed a book contract.
It will be in German (sorry, people!), but I pray that many readers will encounter God in unexpected places over here through my writings. When I shared the news I was blown away by all your many thoughtful comments and encouraging messages. THANK YOU!
This community has made all the difference.
I have met some great writers with unique personalities behind that, and sometimes I’m sad that there’s an ocean between so many of us.
I am always amazed how we all write on one prompt and yet end up with completely unique perspectives.
No matter if you’re an FMF veteran or just started out – keep writing.
No matter if you write for a book deal or for your own sanity – keep sharing.
No matter what style you prefer – keep putting that pen to paper (or rather, fingers on the keyboard).
Poems, psalms, stories, jokes…they all show something about us, and that’s the greatest gift we can give.
As a Third Culture Kid, Katha von Dessien has seen quite a bit of this beautiful world. She has always been most impressed by people who challenged her view of God, herself and others. She lives and works in Stuttgart (Southern Germany) where she loves to invite people and listen to their stories.