I do not call myself an author because I’ve not published a book. That’s the distinction I make. I am a writer; that’s what I do. So what’s it all about – the why and the how?
The reason should come first. I’ve been motivated to write a mission statement. That sounds like a business term, and yet that’s what my writing is, a career, even though somewhat faulty. I write because I enjoy the struggle of writing. It’s not easy for me; the words don’t flow. But I write anyway. I want to write – to put my thoughts on paper (whether that’s in a journal or on the computer). Pages fill up with my thoughts. And then I share; I don’t write to be published. Yet it’s not enough to write for myself. I want others to know what I’m thinking, what moves me, what demands my attention. Editing is also a joy, getting it right – the proper grammar and the best words for relating and reacting. Writing demands re-writes; making sure it’s my best work.
Does that cover why I write? Not hardly. Pleasing God with my writing is important, whether that’s for my private journal or in a published devotional, article, or book. My writing must be acceptable to God, to honor Him and give Him due praise. God must shine through my writing.
How do I write? My day begins with reading God’s Word and writing reflections in a journal. Sometimes what I select is seasonal, like now during Lent, I’m reading the Gospels. I started with John because the major portion of his book is about Jesus’ last days. I even edit my journals, looking back over the day’s entry to make corrections. I keep white-out handy.
I have several writing projects going at the same time and choose one to work on most days of the week. I post a to-do list on my calendar: it may be starting an assignment for a devotional, adding to an incomplete article, or working on those two books in process. It’s not a strict discipline as to what I write, only that I do write. I don’t wait until I’m “inspired.” It’s a simple strategy, for writers write. Making time is now not a problem because I have the time. The problem is sticking to what’s a priority and eliminating distraction.
Writing includes the learning process, so I read about writing and also take courses. Taking notes (that’s also writing) is my way of collecting and connecting what I learn. An author and an agency are my favorite teachers: Jerry Jenkins and Steve Laube Agency’s Christian Writers Institute. Writers Conferences also help to contact publishers, agents, and other writers.
Looking over this piece there are a lot of “I’s” and yet it’s a personal work. Most sentences start with the subject, and that subject is me. So I went back and edited. As to how I put words together to complete a project, that depends on the purpose of the work. Devotionals are quite different from a magazine article. So is this blog. Thanks for reading what I write.