Myra Johnson is one of those people I don’t exactly remember meeting, but am grateful I did. She writes faith-based romance and cranks out books at a rate that truly astonishes me, as I labor for years to release a book. I’ve invited her to take over this space this week. Thank you, Myra, and all the best to you in your writing efforts.
Myra Johnson on the Writing Life
As long as I stay away from mirrors, I can forget I’ll soon turn 71. Though I’m not athletic by any stretch of the imagination, I try to stay in shape. I still have all my original joints, and my brain seems to be working fine. (I never was great at remembering people’s names anyway.)
When I was a kid, however, everyone over 60 seemed ancient. Cue the stereotypical grandparent figures, like Earl and Opal of the popular “Pickles” comic strip—frumpy, curmudgeonly, and unapologetically old-fashioned. I laugh at their antics in the newspaper every day, while convincing myself they certainly don’t represent me. (Possibly my husband a teensy, tiny bit, though?)
Shifting Attitudes about Aging
As I began writing this post, I came across an article on the Health and Retirement Study website quoting Becca Levy, a professor of psychology at Yale: “Children as young as three or four have already taken in the age stereotypes of their culture.” The article goes on to discuss how our perception of what is old shifts upward as we age—70 is the new 50, right?—and how having a positive attitude about aging along with a daily sense of purpose can have a protective effect on our health and wellbeing.
In my life, writing faith-centered novels continue to provide a meaningful sense of purpose. Besides the fact that I love making up stories and discovering which directions my characters will take, having editorial deadlines gives me ample motivation to fire up the computer every morning and get words on the page. The associated networking, marketing, and PR requirements also keep me on my toes as I try to stay current with constantly evolving technology and social media trends.
Readers Are a Key Motivator
Some writers find joy and validation in the act of writing itself, but for me, readers complete the circle. I write about true-to-life characters who learn to rely on God as they face difficult situations. So, when I receive a personal note from a reader saying how my story touched her heart, or helped her see something in a new light, or gave her hope in the midst of a personal struggle, I know God has used my words to make a connection.
From time to time, the question of retirement enters my thoughts, especially when my retired husband and friends are sometimes disappointed that I won’t easily give up my workdays to go do something fun with them. Don’t get me wrong—I’m not a total stick-in-the-mud. I rarely write on weekends, and I do occasionally take a weekday “mental health break” to see a movie or meet friends for lunch or an early dinner. But as long as the ideas keep coming and my books find readers, I’ll keep writing my stories until God gives me a clear signal it’s time to walk away from the computer.
Finding Meaning in Each Phase of Live
What gives your life meaning? What gets you up in the morning and energizes you for a satisfyingly productive day? Whatever stage of life you’re in—the parenting years, working full-time, retired—believe God has a purpose for you, and if you aren’t sure you’ve found it yet, keep praying about it and keep looking. You may get a gentle nudge (or a hearty shove!) out of your comfort zone, and your calling likely won’t always be problem-free, but God will be with you to guide and provide every step of the way.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10, NIV)
About Myra Johnson
Award-winning author and native Texan Myra Johnson enjoys writing Christian romance and women’s fiction—emotionally gripping stories about love, life, and faith. Her most recent novels are part of a Love Inspired contemporary romance series set in the Texas Hill Country, and she’s currently at work on a new Love Inspired series set in Montana. Myra and her husband are the proud parents of two daughters who serve with their husbands in ministry and mission work. Seven grandchildren take up another big chunk of Myra’s heart. The Johnsons share their home with two pampered rescue dogs and a snooty but lovable cat. Myra is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Faith, Hope & Love Christian Writers. She is represented by the Natasha Kern Literary Agency. Visit her website at www.MyraJohnson.com, where you can find her complete list of published novels, and also subscribe to her newsletter.
Her most recent books include:
The Soft Whisper of Roses (October 2020) Selah Award finalist!
The Rancher’s Family Secret (January 2021) Finalist in the HOLT Medallion & FHLRCA
The Rebel’s Return (February 2022
The Rancher’s Family Legacy (June 2022)
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about Myra Johnson and her variety of books to add to your reading list. Consider sharing this with a friend, or sign up to receive your own blogs at HowWiseThen. and join our growing online community.
Read more about the trials and triumphs of the Mayflower passengers in my historical novel, Mayflower Chronicles: The Tale or Two Cultures. It is available in numerous libraries and for sale in electronic, print, and audio format at these places: