Writing

Why I Write

Whether it is a book fair, author fair, a writers’ conference or any event where there are authors and an audience, there is one question that is always asked is, “Why do you write?” or “What got you started writing?”. Usually, this is asked by people who, deep down, would love to be writers. They just don’t know how to get started.

Some authors say they just always knew they were a writer, from the time they learned how to put pencil to page as a child. Some authors say it began due to one defining experience in their life. As for me, becoming an author has been a journey. Growing up, I was always talented in both reading and writing. But, I knew no creative outlet for it.

After my divorce in 1989, I began journaling for my own peace of mind. After God healed and delivered me about four years later I began studying God’s word, that led to writing essays, then Bible studies, followed by the church newsletter and then newspaper articles.

Over the years, I have written for newspapers, magazines, and websites. Then, I took the very long journey to self-publish my first book, Home Should Be Safe: Hope and Help for Domestic Violence Victims. Today I continue to write for all these opportunities and I write speeches, teach writing classes and speak at writers’ conferences. But, this is only the how.

The writing talent is a gift from God, my creator. When God created me in my mother’s womb he created within me the gift communicating, the gift of putting words together in a way that expresses information and feelings to all who will read and listen to those words.

After I received God’s healing and deliverance after my divorce I asked God two things. First, I prayed that God would show me what He did in me so that I could help someone else come to healing. Second, I asked God to let me do with words what my artist friends did with paint and canvas. God showed me two amazing visions of what he did in me and I share it whenever I share my testimony of healing and deliverance.

So, why do I write? I write to inform people. I write to encourage people. But, most importantly, I write to give glory to the God who created me, saved me, healed me, delivered me and restored me to him after the most painful period in my life. I write to give glory to the God who provided for me, protected me and helped me care for my family and raise my children to love God and who are now raising my grandchildren to love God.

To God be the Glory for all that I am and may ever become. May His will be done.

 

Uncategorized, Writing

Making the Most of a Writers’ Conference

Last weekend I traveled to an out-of-state writer’s conference. I’ve been to a few writers’ conferences over the years when I could fit it into my vacation schedule and I’ve always come away with some good information. This time I tried something a little different. I invited another writer to attend with me so we could both gain some valuable information and then share what we had learned. Well, I am happy to report that the trip was overall a success. Our plan was simple.

  • We registered ahead of time so we could get into the classes we wanted.
  • We took different classes so that we could make the most of our time since we couldn’t take all the classes due to scheduling.

After the conference we were able to discuss what we learned in the classes we took so that we both received the benefit of all the classes we each attended.

The conference was very enlightening but it was too far away for me to attend the entire conference so I missed the day where I could meet all of the authors at a book sale on the second day. Next year I plan to go for both days and take full advantage of it.

But, there was an added bonus to traveling with a friend. We had the long drive to and from to talk and share and laugh. It was great gal time in addition to a terrific learning experience.

This year I am again pursuing my writing with more energy than I have in a while and I am determined to make some strong progress in my writing career. My goal is to find more writing conferences to attend and to plan ahead for what other ways I can make the most of the conference. Other things I plan to consider are:

  • Make it possible to attend the entire conference to take advantage of every opportunity available.
  • Don’t just stick with someone I know but mingle with other writers, networking and exchanging business cards for future contact.
  • Make time to connect with the conference planners and ask about the possibility of presenting or teaching a class for the next year’s conference.
  • Make sure to connect with any publishers, agents or book sellers to promote my book(s).
  • Be sure to have fun and enjoy the trip, whether I go alone or take someone with me.

What about my readers who are writers? Do you attend writers’ conferences? If so, how do you make the most of them?

 

Writing

Freelance Writing for Community Newspapers

Being a full-time staff writer may or may not be your goal. Another option is to be a freelance writer for local papers. They may be called “Messenger” or “Community News” or some other variation of this. They only keep two or three full-time staffers and use freelance writers for the rest. Some pay by the word while some may pay by the article and they don’t usually pay extra for photos. One great thing about writing for small community newspapers is the variety of writing experience you will gain. You may write articles about community festivals or town meetings. You may pitch an article idea for something that interests you or you may be assigned articles. You will learn to write on deadline; you will learn how to find and interview sources and how to come up with catchy headlines. You will also learn how to let your work be edited and changed. If you’re smart you will learn from those edits how to craft a good article so that fewer edits will be needed in the future. But, you will also learn how to work with an editor because no two will be alike. One may love your writer’s style and voice while the next one may not like your writing at all. This happens with magazines sometimes also. But, as a writer, you learn from each experience and constantly strive to improve your craft and talent. Who knows? One day you may become the editor and have the opportunity to plan, organize and put out a community newspaper.

Writing

Tip of the Day May 17 2012

Write for your church –
There are a wide variety of opportunities here. One woman I knew wrote multiple act plays that the drama department produced. These were full-scale productions with costumes, scenery with participation from every department in the church. It was a great community outreach for this particular church. Check out tomorrow’s tip for more opportunities writing in your local church (regardless of the religion).