Friday, November 29, 2013

So You Want To Write?

As a new author of Christian fiction no matter where I go, I meet someone who tells me that they've written a book or toyed with the idea of writing. I first starting writing thirteen years ago because I knew I could tell stories. But, being able to tell stories and being able to write is, as the saying goes, like comparing apples to oranges.

A few considerations to think about:

1. Do you like to Read? 
To become a writer, you must read. Read, Read, and then Read some more. Read books by authors in the genre you desire to write. You would be surprised at how many people who claim they want to write admit that they hate to read. I'll be blunt, if you don't like to read, don't write.

2. Are you learning how to write?
There are many great books that teach the art of writing. Writing is a skill. You must attend retreats or workshops to build your craft. You must be willing to improve as well and your writing should demonstrate your growth as a writer. As with any profession, the only way to move from mediocrity is to develop professionally.

3. Are you ready to have your work critiqued?

As I stated previously, there are many people who love to write but for them it is primarily for personal satisfaction. Their work is their 'baby' and they don't want anyone to mess with it. There is nothing wrong with that, but if you're not ready to get an unbiased opinion about your work- meaning no family, best friends - then you are 'journaling'. You're recording your emotions and feelings about a given topic.
Getting your work critiqued or evaluated by a qualified professional is necessary if you desire to transition into becoming a writer. One of the best advice I was given is to use an editor-not a proofreader-but an editor who will work through your manuscript and pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses. A great editor will make you a better writer.

Stew on This: Unless you're ready to see your work bleached, sanitized and torn apart, you're not ready to become a writer. The transition from storyteller to writer is painful, but nothing good comes easy. The rewards are mostly intrinsic. There is nothing like having your work move people and influence them to be better. There is nothing like seeing readers tear through your pages because they couldn't stop until they get to the very end.

Michelle Lindo-Rice is an author with Urban Christian Books. Her published works are Sing A New Song (Feb. 2013), Walk A Straight Line (Jan. 2014), and My Steps Are Ordered. (Aug. 2014) Feel free to connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Goodreads or through her website at www.michellelindorice.com