Welcome, aspiring writers!
I’m so glad you joined me here today, if only for a few minutes. The fact that you’re reading this right now likely means you are already a writer—even if you consider yourself merely aspiring—you just need some guidance.
I’d love the chance to encourage and inspire you to keep going in your writing journey, in much the same way that I was encouraged years ago at a writer’s conference when a well-known author told me to enjoy each step in my journey.
From then on, I never stopped thinking of this writing life that I live as my writing journey.
Start now—think of this as your writing journey.
If you’re “pre-published” then you are in a good place in your journey because you aren’t overly-burdened with the stress of a looming deadline. You have freedom and flexibility. Take a deep breath and learn to enjoy where you are in your writing journey.
On the other hand, if you aren’t yet published, you might wonder if you’ll ever write well enough or catch an editor’s eye (if you want your novel traditionally published)—and that brings it’s own kind of stress.
Writing is hard work. There will be times in your publishing future when you’ll wonder what you were thinking to pursue a writing career. Life gets in the way, responsibilities and illness wreak havoc on a writer’s schedule, putting more stress on you.
There are plenty of days where I question why I’m writing. The hours are long and frankly, the pay isn’t that great. In fact, this is the worst-paying job I’ve ever had by far, but at the same time, it’s the best job I’ve ever had.
On the plus side, I get to set my own hours and have flexibility in my schedule for my family’s needs—to a degree. And I get to dream up stories. The possibilities are limitless. I get to create like God gifted me to create! What could be more awesome than that?
In the end, that’s all you need to know. If God has gifted you to create through writing, then you’re a writer and all you need to do is write. To that end, here are some important steps to take along your writing journey.
- Attend a writer’s conference. I can’t stress how important this is. As soon as I recognized that God had called me to write I signed up for my first conference. I have attended the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference almost every year since 2001. There, you can learn the all- important craft of writing and how to create content worth reading. You can network with the most important people in publishing—editors and agents and other writers. I credit this organization for launching my writing career.
- Join ACFW-American Christian Fiction Writers. In addition to the conference, this organization provides a wealth of resources, including online courses and critique groups.
- Read, read, read, in the genre in which you want to write. Learn what your target audience and publisher are looking for. Read in other genres as well to get ideas. And then. . . write, write, write.
- Subscribe to Writer’s Digest Magazine or another preferred resource, and build a small library of writing how-to books from authors like James Scott Bell, Donald Maas and DiAnn Mills.
- Consider enrolling in a correspondence course such as the Christian Writer’s Guild founded by Jerry Jenkins.
- Find other like-minded writers to encourage and support you, brainstorm with you, and tell you what is and what’s not working in your story.
- Finally, trust the Lord to lead you on this journey and don’t forget to enjoy life, after all, most of a writer’s inspiration comes from simply living.