RINCON — Jordan Rainer is pushing her pen in an unexpected direction.
After spending the last few years focused primarily on songwriting in Nashville, Rainer, a 28-year-old former Effingham County High School student, is touring.
"When I came to Nashville, I didn't want to do the artist thing," she said. "I didn't want to be the lead singer. The people who I idolized were songwriters, and that's what I wanted to do."
Rainer, who lived in Effingham County during her sophomore and junior years, has always been musically inclined.
"Honestly, I never pictured myself doing anything else," she said. "I never thought, 'Hey, I want to be a doctor or a teacher.' I always pictured myself on a stage doing exactly this.
"I never had a Plan B."
Rainer said her transition to singing was prompted by her age.
"Once women hit 30 in Nashville, their chance of getting a record deal is slim to none," she said. "They like to pick young, up-and-coming girls and I didn't want to get to the end having never tried the artist thing."
Rainer penned her first song when she was 12.
"I started with gospel roots more than anything, playing in church and that kind of thing," she said. "That's where I learned to play guitar and sing. As I got older, I started listening to country and discovered people like Reba (McIntyre) and all those hallowed people.
"I thought, 'I might want to try that,' and I was writing songs that whole time."
After her Tennessee arrival, Rainer landed a job writing songs for Black Diamond Row Records. The position enabled her to meet people who have fostered her career.
The Oklahoma native captured the attention of prolific Nashville songwriter Roger Springer when she was 18.
"He's had tons of tons of hits," Rainer said. "He contacted me and my family after hearing my music. He said, 'You have something really special and I'd like to mentor you and kind of help you into the music industry.'
"We said, 'Heck yeah, man, and the rest is history."
See the June 13 edition of the Effingham Herald for more details.