Back to School?

by Steve Laube

Depending on where you live and your school district policies you may already be in a back-to-school mode or preparing for it.

It got me to thinking about the need for all writers to always have a “back to school” mentality.

Here are six things we can learn from always going “back to school.”

  1. Anticipation. The joyful feeling that something great is going to happen.
  2. Dread. The accompanying feeling that something awful is going to happen.
  3. Fun. Put the first two together and you have an adventure.
  4. Learn. The desire to learn something new. Terry Whalin reads a new book on the craft of writing or the publishing business each month. That is an example for all writers.
  5. Growth. Growth happens over time and through much work and perseverance. Ronie Kendig spent eight years from the time she first began pursuing publication to the date her first novel was released. That is perseverance.
  6. Reward. There is never a “graduation” ceremony from the school of writing. It is a lifetime experience. But the rewards are great because words can change lives.

This Fall and next Spring I would encourage you to attend a writers conference. It can be like going back to school…but in a fun way (see #3).









7 Responses to Back to School?

  1. Avatar
    V.V. Denman August 15, 2011 at 5:39 am #

    Anticipation + Dread = Adventure.

    I like that. We’re starting back to school today and that’s how I’m feeling right now. Anything could happen…

  2. Avatar
    Rick Barry August 15, 2011 at 5:45 am #

    Learning should be a life-long pursuit for all thinking persons. If you stop learning, you’re probably ready to stop living.

    I have looked on with admiration as elder associates in their eighties and even a couple friends in the nineties open their laptops and write emails and attach photos. On the other hand, I’ve heard men younger than them say, “Why, I wouldn’t even know how to turn on a computer.” Being content with the education one received decades ago is a guaranteed way to be left in the dust.

  3. Avatar
    Natalia Gortova August 15, 2011 at 8:26 am #

    There is never a “graduation” ceremony from the school of writing. (And how many of us wish there was!)
    It really is about the journey, and making it the best, most effective ride you can.
    Sure, it would be nice to say, “I’m published!” But that isn’t the destination either.
    Thanks for the encouragement.

  4. Avatar
    Joseph Bentz August 15, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    This is a helpful perspective. You left out what my daughter considers the most important back-to-school element: new clothes. I guess that one’s a little harder to connect to the writing life.

    I’ve been reading John Piper’s book, “Think,” about how we can love God with our intellect. Learning is a way of finding delight in God and his creation.

    • Avatar
      Steve Laube August 15, 2011 at 11:36 am #

      That made me laugh out loud! New clothes as a metaphor for New Ideas? May be a stretch but there is something about the “new” that is so incredibly appealing.

  5. Avatar
    Wade Webster August 15, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

    Great encouragement Steve! I’m looking forward to the North Texas Christian Writer’s Conference on Sept 16-17 in the Dallas area. There’ll be a LOT of great sessions to help all writers, no matter their level. There’s even special ones just for teenagers on Friday. Go to to check it out for yourself, while you’re thinking about it.

  6. Avatar
    Peter DeHaan August 17, 2011 at 6:16 am #

    Steve, I met you last year at my first writer’s conference. The conference was simultaneously overwhelming and invigorating.

    I then signed up for another conference later in the year. And I am now anticipating my fourth conference, which has unintentionally placed me into your implied schedule of a conference in the fall and again in the spring.

    Each one has provided a wealth of information and valuable contacts, not to mention great resources — like you blog.

    Thanks for all you do to advance the cause of writing.

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