I spoke at a women’s breakfast at my church Saturday. My topic was Sabbath Simplicity. As usual, there were questions after my talk. And again, as usual, some of those questions had nothing to do with my topic. Instead, they focused on my profession.
They ask: How did you become a writer? by which the questioner actually means, how can I become a writer?
I became a writer by studying writing in college, then working for ten years as a newspaper reporter. There are plenty of other paths to publication, but that was mine. I often want to push back when people talk about being a writer, and ask them if they write. I mean, do they sit down, alone, and actually try to form sentences? Even in a journal? A blog? Or on the novel they are secretly working on?
This is, unfortunately, where it breaks down for a lot of people. Well, they would write, if they had more time. They plan to start someday. If you don’t write, you are not a writer. Yet. Henry David Thoreau said, “Your priorities are what you do.” Yep.
Writers write. They do it whether they get published or not. Because writing, at least for me, is part of how I make sense of the world. But I also work at my craft, trying to make it better. I read books about how to write, I practice writing, and I work at marketing what I write.
If you want to be a writer, I’d suggest you visit the websites listed on the right side of this blog. Especially Mary DeMuth’s blog, http://wannabepublished.blogspot.com/
Mary is an excellent writer, the author of several books, and best of all, she feels called to help aspiring writers.
Thanks for the words of advice. In the beginning of 2008 God impressed upon my heart a story that I put to paper, and eventually let some family and friends read. I had a very favorable response to it from those who read it. Everyone says that it should be published, but after reading so much about the industry it was daunting. I felt overwhelmed, and was not really able to write much else.
I am now writing about four days a week, and not wondering so much about the purpose of the writing. It is not the publishing that is important, as the process of what God teaches me during the writing.
I am also a preschool Sunday school teacher, who enjoys your articles for Today’s Children’s ministry newsletter.