How I Became a Writer and Artist
Writing has not been my forte all my life. Although I took a BA in English and became a public school teacher, I spent 13 years as a stay-at-home mom. Even though I have always read and helped our kids with assignments, I never wrote much since university. Until Jesus.
Yes, Jesus is the reason I write.
In 2001 when I finally understood Who Jesus is and gave my life to Him, I started to journal as I read my Bible and wrote prayers. I asked God a zillion questions. (by the way He always answered) My cupboard is filled with my journals.
After writing 150 poems during this journaling time, God led me to my first writers’ conference – Write!Canada. There I met amazing people who followed Jesus and wrote. I found Sisters and Brothers in Christ. I have only missed one conference since I started in 2004. I also met my best friend, Kimberley Payne.
In 2008 I started blogging and during the following years I ran a group blog called Under the Cover of Prayer. Only in the past year has God told me to put that down and concentrate on teaching His Word.
My “parking spot” is www.janiscox.com. I write under the title Growing Through God’s Word and Podcast on HopeStreamRadio under the same name. On the weekends I host Word of God Speak – with a linkup for others to link their faith-based posts.
But God didn’t stop at writing. He encouraged me to paint. I had taken quite a few one week art courses over the summers but never painted while at home. It was not until the story of Tadeo Turtle. came to me that I needed pictures in order to publish it.
Could I paint the illustrations?
With the help of my art instructor in Arizona I made the first two paintings of Tadeo Turtle.
Then I felt confident to finish the pictures on my own.
Now what would I do?
I made five books through Shutterfly to take to Write! Canada and judge the reaction. I told God that if I sold the five I would self-publish. I had sold three by checkout time. SIGH.
Then someone in line said, “I would like one of those”. And the cashier said, “I want one, too”. There were then five sold.
I still hemmed and hawed. My hubby and I discussed the pros and cons of publishing. The number of books to order. Would I be able to recoup my expenses? Finally I took the plunge and contacted Word Alive Press and Tadeo Turtle was born.
I had a blog – but it was a wordpress.com blog and I needed a better one. I had heard about the self-hosted WordPress blog. Another learning curve. I established www.janiscox.com. I did lose some subscribers (because of the order I moved it over), but it has been well worth it. There were many trials and glitches but I am now feeling confident.
A whole new world of marketing happened? Including social media. That’s another 20 blog posts. I also entered Tadeo Turtle in The Word Guild Awards in 2013. Tadeo Turtle won best children’s book for that year.
I have a new book The Kingdom of Thrim, will be available mid May 2106.
And this time before I publish I have:
-A following on social media
-A good blog
-More information on marketing.
My books are under the Growing with God Series.
I am also test marketing a new Bible study/Journaling Adult colouring book. My first one is called Word of God Speak.
Through it all I really rely on God. I spend my morning studying, praying and writing. I ask Him for H.E.L.P. all the time.
I love to help other writers and encourage them to closely follow Jesus. If you need anything don’t be afraid to ask. I will try to help or find someone who can. Email Janis [
Connect more with Christian homeschoolers
Connect with Christian schools
Reach out and help other writers.
A few thoughts:
Never say never – Just ask God to show you
Read and study – both His word and about writing
Connect with other writers and readers
Believe you can – because you can. Say “I am a writer.”
Take every day one step at a time. Don’t be overwhelmed by all the “how tos”.
God will expand the time if you are writing in His will.
More About Janis
Other Posts From This Series.
If you are interested in writing a post about your journey as a writer please check out the following post. Writing Opportunity