Today we have the pleasure to meet MaryAnn Diorio. MaryAnn is a member of the John316 Marketing Network of writers of which I belong. You will find her passion for writing has certainly been inspired by God.
Thoughtful Thursdays – Why MaryAnn Diorio is compelled to write and other interesting facts
1. When did your interest in writing start? Can you look back and see God working through and with you in your desire to write. If so, explain your thoughts.
When I was 30 years old, God called me to a writing ministry. I had never considered writing, other than a fleeting thought while still in high school that it might be interesting to become a journalist. But that thought did not last long.
Shortly before my 30th birthday, I began to have a desire to write. I thought this was strange since my professional training was in foreign languages. But the desire to write kept increasing to the point where it was almost becoming an obsession.
Since I was not sure if the desire was from God or not, I asked the Lord to increase it if it was, indeed, from Him, or to take it away if it was not from Him.
The desire only increased, and God confirmed in a marvellous way that the desire was from Him.
I had written a poem that I submitted to The Saturday Evening Post. Novice that I was, I had no clue that The Saturday Evening Post was virtually impossible for a newbie like me to crack. But, by God’s grace, my poem was accepted. When I subsequently learned how difficult it is to get published in The Saturday Evening Post, I knew that God had allowed this acceptance to confirm His call on my life to write for Him.
2. As a writer, time is important; quiet is important. How do you find that quiet time to reflect and write?
I make the time to write.
Finding time is an illusion; we have to make time.
We have to make an appointment with ourselves just as we make appointments with other professionals or with friends, and we have to schedule that writing appointment in our calendars. If we do not take our writing seriously, no one else will. I am blessed to have my own writing studio where I can close the door and write. Also, my children are now grown, so I do not have the same responsibilities and time commitments I did when they were small.
3. What new project/s are you working on? Why do they seem important to you? Are you compelled to write or do you need to find inspiration? How do you deal with interruptions?
I am currently working on a trilogy of novels titled The Italian Chronicles. The first book is called The Madonna of Pisano; the second is called A Sicilian Farewell; and the third is called Return to Bella Terra. The idea for the trilogy was sparked when I discovered some interesting information while researching my ancestry. This project is important to me because it will reveal a very important truth about forgiveness and, I hope, set some of my readers free (Remember John 8:32).
As for being compelled to write, I find that I must write almost as much as I must breathe.
Since God has called me to write, I must write in obedience to His call. The inspiration is always there in the sense that I never have to be motivated to write. I wake up every day eager to get to my writing desk. Sometimes I wonder what I should write next because I have more than enough ideas to last several lifetimes. But when that happens, I ask Holy Spirit what He wants me to write next.
Regarding interruptions, frankly, I have difficulty with them. This is an area where the Lord is teaching me to release His patience and to discern between a true, divinely appointed interruption and a distraction from the enemy. I have created a sign I place on the outside doorknob of my writing studio that alerts my family to the fact that I am in creative mode and would appreciate not being disturbed unless it is an emergency. My family is very supportive of my writing and totally understands that I need uninterrupted time to create. I am greatly blessed in this way.
4. Do you have hobbies, or sports that you are interested in? What is it about these activities that you like? Looking at your personality are these activities ones that God has brought to you?
I love to paint in oils, acrylics, pastels, and colored pencil. Art has always been a love of mine. What I love about art is the creative process. In writing, I paint pictures with words. In art, I paint pictures with various media. Art goes hand-in-hand with my creative personality that also loves to write.
5. What is one important lesson that Jesus is teaching or has taught you that has changed your worldview, your outlook, and/or your relationships?
Perhaps the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that I cannot live the Christian life in my own strength but that I must allow Christ to live it through me (Galatians 2:20). This is what it means to “crucify the flesh” and to “carry one’s cross.” The cross we carry is our flesh–the tendencies of the old man that still rise up to harass us. But the Good News is that in Christ we can overcome the flesh every single time it rears its ugly head if we allow Christ to love through us, to be patient through us, to be kind through us–and on and on. When I recognize and admit my weakness and inability to live the Christian life, then Christ is strong in me.
It is a matter of yielding to His Presence in me.
Papa God, I come to You in the mighty and matchless Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I praise You for Who You are–the God of Love and Mercy and Grace. Thank You, Abba, for sending Jesus to die so that we might live. Thank You for Your Word that sustains us moment by moment. Thank You for allowing us the privilege to work with you in enforcing Your Kingdom in the earth. I pray, Papa, for those who have read this interview. I speak joy and peace into their lives. I pray especially for Janis and for her generous heart in publishing this interview. For both writers and readers alike, I pray that You would bless the work of their heart and of their hands, for Your glory and for the building of Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ Name I pray and receive. Amen and Amen.
Dr. MaryAnn Diorio is a widely published, award-winning author who writes compelling fiction that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart. She holds the PhD degree in French with a concentration in Comparative Literature from the University of Kansas and the MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton HIll University. MaryAnn resides in New Jersey with her wonderful husband of 46 years. They are the blessed parents of two amazing daughters, a fantastic son-in-law and five rambunctious grandchildren. When she is not writing, MaryAnn loves to paint, to read, and to make up silly songs for her grandchildren.