Thursday, September 13, 2012

Guest column by Terry's Client Linda Apple

“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.”~ E.L. Doctorow

Thirteen years ago I decided to be a writer. Little did I know what this decision would cost me. Little did I know how this decision would enrich my life.

I entered this world of words ignorant, hopeful, expectant, and maybe just a little bit cocky. It didn’t take long for me to be humbled. To my great astonishment, the world wasn’t waiting to hear what I had to say! I kept writing trying to find the right recipe, but most of my efforts failed.

Thank goodness for my writer friends who encouraged me to keep at it. However, I’ve found that words get into the writers veins and really, I couldn’t have stopped for long.

I’ve heard about writers who say they have to write because the stories in their heads demand to be told. I didn’t have such stories or demands. But what I did have was the desire to connect with people and encourage them. It took several years of writing to finally discover this was my niche, my voice.

The reason I’m writing this blog is for those of you who are just starting out. It is so easy to compare your writing experience, style, success—or lack thereof— with others. Let me assure you that there will always be someone more successful and always be someone less successful than you. That is the journey. As you write you will discover yourself, your style and voice, and just where you fit in.

Don’t get confused by other writers. At conferences you will hear a broad spectrum of advice, which is often contradictory. Treat this abundance of information like a buffet. Take what resonates with you and leave the rest. Take small steps until you feel ready to run. Then burst out and sprint. If you fall, that’s okay. This may be a sign to try a different path. Above all, be patient with yourself.

Explore, Learn, Write! 

Linda has cut her writing teeth on short work publishing an amazing fifteen stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul books and stories in six anthologies. She is the author of two non-fiction books, Inspire! Writing from the Soul and Connect! A Simple Guide to Public Speaking for Writers. She has a great platform as she is a sought after speaker for workshops around the country and just served as President of the Oklahoma Writers Federation.


Normandie Ward Fischer said...

Good words, Linda. As always.

Davalyn Spencer said...

Great encouragement.

Heather Day Gilbert said...

Wow, I loved this post and I am looking up your blogspot now, Linda. I, too, suffered from the delusion that once I typed, "THE END," I would be immediately snapped up and published.

Love your advice--it's what I tell my kids. There will always be someone smarter than/prettier than you. But there will also be someone not-so-smart and not-so-pretty. You be thankful for what the good Lord gave you and make the most of it.

I think that's the deepest drive in our Christian writer hearts!

Author Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Linda, Your advice about not getting confused by other writers is right on. That was one of my hardest challenges and hold backs when I was just getting started. You have to learn to discern and differentiate between good and bad advice. Some people mean well when they give bad advice. They are just passing on bad advice they've been taught by someone else. Great post!

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