Deborah Anderson

In 2000, Deborah Anderson left the medical field to care for her elderly mother. Soon after, she began writing. She has written for Focus on the Family, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and numerous other publications. She is a member of TWV, ACFW, CWG, and FCW. Married 30 years, Deborah and her husband enjoy country living in the Midwest. She also spends her time rescuing cats, reading novels, and taking nature walks. Deborah recently completed her first novel. You can contact Deborah at: Visit her blog at

Diary of A Crazy Writer

I Dream of Writing

Back in 2002, I lost one of my older brothers to lung cancer. A few months after his death, I had the craziest dream about writing.

What’s so crazy about that?

Well, I wasn’t a writer at the time. Don’t get me wrong, I always wanted to be one, but wanting and knowing how are two different things.

In my dream I saw a picture of my brother on the front page of a newspaper. He sat in a white rocker, to the left of the feature article, and a broad smile lit his face. He waved his hand high in the air as though motioning me closer. I’d never seen him look so happy.

I inched my way forward, trying to catch a better glimpse of the words on the page, and I noticed the storyline had to do with the war my brother had served in—Vietnam. My eyes landed on the byline—Deborah Anderson. Nobody ever addressed me as Deborah unless I got into trouble for something, which seemed to be a lot in my younger years—during junior and senior high school for heaven’s sakes.

The dream changed scenes then, as dreams usually do, and I found myself riding in a car with an old history teacher from high school.


My eyes shifted to the dashboard. It turned into a desk with multiple cubbyholes. Each compartment contained tools writers use. Can you imagine? The craziest thing of all is I knew that the tools belonged to me.

Talk about taking a ride.

I awoke the following morning, wrote the dream in a journal, and set it aside. I went about my daily routine—for two years—until a sudden urge hit me one afternoon. Go to the library.

So I did.

I checked out multiple novels, lugged them home, and set them beside my rocking chair.

Later in the evening, after I tucked my elderly mother in bed, I pored over Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I stayed up most of the night reading. (As a result, my poor mother’s eggs didn’t turn out so well the following morning. My mind kept wandering back to the storyline in Ms. Rivers’s novel.)

Over the course of the next two weeks as I read each book, I marveled. I wish I could write like that.

But I had no idea how to do such a thing.

After finishing all of the novels but one, and many sloppy eggs later, I picked up my final selection, The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. (If you haven’t read Mr. Sparks’s work, I highly recommend it.)

I finished the book, wishing I could write like this author, too, and out of nowhere the dream I had written in the journal rushed back to my mind. I drummed my fingers on the book’s cover. Where did I put the notebook?

I jumped up from my rocker, searched the house, and recovered the journal. I read the content written on the pages. Should I? Could I?

My eyes shifted toward heaven. God, are you trying to tell me something?

Well, slap me and call me stupid, but I figured He was.

I began writing.

And do you know what happened?

One of the first few stories I published wound up as a feature article on the cover of a newspaper. The story had to do with my brothers coming home for Christmas. They were both serving in the Army, one of them stationed in Vietnam. This time, though, instead of my brother’s picture, a photograph of me sat to the left of the article.

Speaking of which, I’ve often wondered why I saw a picture of my dead brother in the dream. According to the Scriptures, we’re not to communicate with the dead, which I didn’t, nor do I want to, but maybe God used the photograph of my sibling to get my attention. He knows me better than anyone does, and He can do whatever He wants. He’s God.

Not only that, if God spoke through a donkey, He could talk to me, couldn’t He?

Okay, wait, it sounds like I just called myself a donkey, doesn’t it?

Anyway, I’ve had dreams about this profession ever since. In my dreams I’ve seen storylines, characters, and the ending of a story before I knew what the beginning was going to be. I even saw a novel once, sitting on a table in the corner of a room, and when I walked over to inspect it, I saw the author’s name—Deborah Anderson. The genre was supernatural suspense. No way was I ever going to write that.

Did I mention never say never?

I recently completed my first novel. The genre is supernatural suspense. (I’ll let you know if this one publishes.)

My only regret in all of this was waiting two years to respond. Who knows what stage my work could have been in now?

What dreams has God given you? Do they seem unattainable?

If He has given you any and you think they’re impossible to accomplish, I’m here to tell you they’re not. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. I’m living proof of that.

Who would have thought?


Chicken Soup For The Soul: The gift of Christmas