Sunday, December 6, 2009

ANWA Has Been a Great Support to Me

This is the first appearance of a new member of our blog team, charter ANWA member Sarah Hinze.

by Sarah Hinze

I am a charter member of ANWA—in fact, I would like to think that because of one phone call, Marsha was impressed, I will say inspired, to start ANWA. But had it not been me, it would have been someone else because I believe that ANWA is one of Marsha’s callings on this earth.

Our family, consisting of my husband Brent and our seven children (two more daughters were born in Mesa, making that nine) moved here from Washington D.C. 22 years ago. I was being bombarded with strong impressions to write and I needed an LDS female author to talk to. One evening while our family was visiting the Mesa Temple Visitor’s Center, I saw my first Beehive Magazine, our LDS newspaper here in Arizona. On the front cover was a by-line of an author, Marsha Ward. I contacted Marsha and shared my story. She told me that she had felt impressed to start a group for LDS women writers. A few months later we had our first meeting. Of course, need I say—the rest is history!

ANWA was a major positive catalyst for me after that. One evening dear Gayla Wise challenged me to bring an outline of my book to the next meeting. In those days our meetings were somewhat like the old Relief Society meetings with Eliza R. Snow and her friends. We would often go into the wee hours of the evening--the clock was not our guide. We stayed and shared ideas of the heart as the spirit impressed us to do.

I left that meeting literally crying with fear and apprehension, because I knew that I needed to accept that challenge and not just talk about a book that I might write, but to actually write it.

I came back the following month with an outline and, because of the encouragement of the ladies in ANWA, I completed my first book less than a year later. I called it Life Before Life—A Collection of Mothers Stories of their Unborn Children.

After that I was on a roll and have written three more books (others have been republished with new covers and titles), one an unpublished manuscript. I will share parts of that manuscript with you over the next few weeks. I would enjoy your feedback. With the publishing of my new book, The Memory of Angels : Remembering Who We Are and What We Came Here to Do, I hope that I have fulfilled that calling.

My mission as a writer is probably different than yours. My calling has been non-fiction up to this point. Through a collection and analysis of anecdotal evidence, I developed a new area of research-–the pre-birth studies. For a definition of the pre-birth experience and additional information, please check out my website at www.sarahhinze.com and my blog, Sarah’s Pearls and Daisies.

In almost 20 years of this work, I have worked with several PH.D. candidates who have used our research (my husband Brent, a PH.D. himself, makes many contributions to my research) in their theses. Many others have taken our research and developed it. So far I have found over 25 other books, several documentaries, and other media forms that have included our work. I had a prompting when I began so many years ago that others would pick up this information and do their own research. This has been a thrill for me because our research and our findings have held strong and been recognized as solid information.

I recently spoke at a division of NAU in Phoenix, the fifth Arizona campus where I have been invited to guest lecture. I give a run down of that meeting on my own blog.

My point is not to pontificate but to encourage you. It takes courage to fulfill our dreams as writers, no matter how unusual they may be, but the benefits can be rewarding and far reaching for good.

5 comments:

  1. What an incredible journey, Sarah! I love you books and I am so glad you wrote them They have been of great benefit to my life!

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  2. Hello!

    I was very interested in your experiences. I'm also primarily nonfiction, usually in the area of special education.

    I've been considering a book for mothers of newborns with special needs--but that's about as far as I've gotten with that project.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Lynn Parsons

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  3. You are so right Sarah, ANWA helps you out on so many levels not the least of which is encouragement, practical advice and empathy when you need it.

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  4. Glad to see you will be a regular on ANWA Founders, Sarah!! :) Nice blog.

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