My father always resolved never to make New Year’s resolutions. Admirable indeed, although few possess his fortitude!
What are your goals for 2023? I remember when I first started writing articles and books for publication. Rejections abounded, and this was at a time of plentiful magazines and regional newspapers publishing unknown authors.
Winning a contract from a traditional book publisher has always been challenging. Some years ago, my uncle told a teacher colleague of his that I was a published author. The colleague responded, “Do you know how hard that is?”
I wish I could say that becoming a traditionally published author has become easier. It has not.
Rejection scares us from proclaiming we’re writers. Someone might like to put you in your place. When I was a young teenager, I recall telling one of my mother’s friends that I wanted to be a model on The Price Is Right. She considered the thought ridiculous, so I abandoned that idea. That’s one time I benefitted from a dose of realism. Her bitter medicine showed me I didn’t want that career badly enough even to attempt it.
As with any career, a person needs enough desire to be a writer to make the goal of publication happen. Be determined to write no matter what obstacles you face. Published or not, when you write, you can say, “I am a writer.” No one can take that identity away from you if you continue writing.
Happy New Year, and Keep Writing!
I am a writer because God calls me to write. That’s between Him and me, and my disobedience builds a wall between us. When I obey, the wall melts away. Being published is a separate issue. When I elevate that goal above my calling, I throw up another wall. My goal: no more walls!
I never thought myself a writer,
and don’t, unto this day,
’cause those folks are a whole lot brighter
than me, in what they say.
God gave me a reactive brain,
not made for creativity,
and I just strive to entertain
with this, the use of poetry,
and I don’t feel a let-down,
not counting self in writing tribe,
for every circus needs a clown
that balanced, it may thrive
through holes poked in its vainglories
to illuminate its stories.
Nicely done, son.
Karen, thank you so much!
Jan Rogers Wimberley
Andrew, Poetry is creative WRITING…
You are entertaining and that also is talent.
Jan, thank you… I never really thought of it that way. It’s always felt more like doing advert copy, which, once upon a time, was my job.
But I may have been blinkered by experience, and too dismissive.
Again, thank you.
What Jan said!! Being a writer does not mean you have to write a book. There are lots of kinds of writing. What you do, Andrew, is not easy. It’s fun, sure, but it’s also thoughtful and brilliant.
You’re a writer. Don’t ever doubt it.
This was such a blessing to me, I passed it along to a friend of mine who is in the midst of grieving several devastating losses. She is a writer and a darn good one, but tends to discount her beautiful work. I am a writer, too—in fact, I have taken to calling myself an author, even though my book is in what I’m euphemistically calling “pre-publishing mode.” Thanks so much for sharing these encouraging words!
Yes, I’m finding the writing road to be one with roadblocks of rejection as well. But they are making me stronger, I feel. I’m digging my heels in deeper. Thanks for this post, as it was yet another inspiration to keep pressing forward. I appreciate your words and insight. Thank you.
Thank you for this, Tamela.
Amen, Tamela! No one but God can tell us who we truly are. As we look to Him alone for our identity, we will discover it. As we look to Him alone for our purpose, He will help us to fulfill it.
Thank you for your encouraging post. Your words always uplift. 🙂
Thank you for this! I have vowed never to tell our close friends “I am a writer” until the day I get published. I feel like a fraud when I tell people I write. But I’m on my fourth novel. I live to write! So here it is, world!!!
I AM A WRITER!
(I am, however, definitely NOT a Price Is Right model.)
Thank you, Tamela!
Thank you Tamela…Trying to get published for the first time makes me focus on what I don’t have. I don’t have a platform, I don’t have a sizzling first chapter, I don’t have an apostrophe on a word buried on page 12 in my query letter. Even so, I am a writer. If we focus on the art, and honor God in the process, we don’t have to be published to be successful. But, it would be nice!
I love that you wanted to be a model on The Price is Right. I got to attend the gameshow in person years ago when we lived in California. So much fun! Sometimes, being a model on the gameshow sounds easier than traditionally publishing my book. LOL Thanks for the encouragement!
Sally Gano Jones
I started believing I could write at age eleven. My dad would tell me his stories about riding his bicycle four miles down country roads to deliver a newspaper to Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Pulitzer prize winning author of “The Yearling,” & “Cross Creek.” I was fascinated.
I would ask him, “Daddy, can I be a writer, too?”
“Sure you can!” he encouraged me.
So it began. My little desk drawer in my bedroom became my stockpile of poems and stories I scribbled out. Later on, teachers wold encourage me. I kept believing.
While in college, pursuing a degree in English, I decided to send a story about my life to a magazine. I was 21 years old. And so I prayed. After all, Daddy had told me I could be a writer too.
I sent the story to “Decision” magazine as I prayed for God to confirm my writing gift. The rest of the story is that Sherwood Wirt, the editor, called me and wanted to publish my story.
Not everything I send out gets acceptance so easily, but I thank my earthly father for his encouragement, and my Heavenly Father for His encouragement each time my written words are accepted. And I’ve learned as years go by to be thankful for the times my written words are rejected.
Well, dear brother Andrew, You may not consider yourself a writer, but when a person can put down the thoughts and quips as you do, no matter what YOU call yourself, the rest of us know you are a writer. 🙂 Thank you for blessing my heart in so many ways and in so many places. Keep going!
Susan, I humbly thank you for this.
Seeing all the people who are part of this blog community, I really don’t feel like I’m in your guys’ league, in terms of calling, motivation, and skill. I just try to say nice and hopefully fun things, and cheer you on.
It’s a good gig. I really love it.
I am a writer because that’s how God wired me. I love what you wrote here: As with any career, a person needs enough desire to be a writer to make the goal of publication happen. Be determined to write no matter what obstacles you face.
Though I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions, the timing of my newest goals happens to have fallen at the beginning of January. But for a change, I decided to use SMART goals. So far, out of five, I have completed one and am halfway to completing a second one and have an appointment with someone next week to give advice on how to complete a third and a tentative appointment with someone about a fourth. I’m on my way!
Thank you, Tamela.
Before I read your article, I was in the middle of a writing project and I stopped to pray. I find myself in a mode of “What’s the use of my writing?”
Reading all these comments are like answers to my prayer. Writing is not about a acceptance, publication, or a huge audience. It is about bringing God the glory. My prayer is now just that.
Thanks for the timely encouragement.
For you, Tonia. I hope you like it.
“What’s the use in all my writing?”
Oh, where, friend, do I start
that may just be enlightening,
like, “What’s the purpose of my heart?”
You’re meant to be a conduit
of God’s love and grace,
but there’s something more to it,
you’re a channel with a face,
with things that only you can say,
with faith that is unique
that can to someone point the Way
unto that holy peak
to stand with Peter, James, and John
to see, transfigured, God’s own Son.
Jan Rogers Wimberley
Andrew…This is awesome!
I’m humbled and honoured, Jan. Thank YOU.
Sheri Dean Parmelee, Ph.D.
Thank you for that encouragement, Tamela.
OLUSOLA SOPHIA ANYANWU
IAM A WRITER!!!! Thank You God. Noone can take that away from me!
Thank you so much for the encouragement here. Blessings,
HAPPY NEW YEAR to the team!
God bless you all.
Kristen Joy Wilks
Such a good reminder, Tamela!
From Kristen … a writer.
I am a writer because I eat, sleep and breathe words. ; I wrote an academic paper on what a writer/author is. It was a fun one to write.
Jan Rogers Wimberley
That sounds like a ‘rich’ academic paper! I wish I could read it.
I think people mix up “published author” with “writer.”
I’ve been “writing” stories since I was little. Since before I could write them down. I had no idea! I got “Pamela is a daydreamer” on ALL my elementary report cards. HA! I was a voracious reader. I used to fall asleep in 1st grade because I read what the teacher assigned way faster than my classmates and I was bored. They called my mom into school to talk about me getting more sleep at night. hahaha! If the teacher had been observant, she would have seen me finish reading and maybe she would have given me something to do. I learned to just keep reading my school reading books when I finished what the teacher assigned … good thing I like rereading my favorite stories!
All these things are marks of a writer. I was in my 40’s when I learned that. Sure wish I had known that in high school. I’d have pursued that career then. I wanted to BE a writer then. But I didn’t tell anyone. My parents shot down every single thing I mentioned as a career, so by the time I figured out I was a writer, I was too afraid to mention it.
After I had a late-term miscarriage when I was 35, someone encouraged me to write my feelings as a way to cope with the grief. I did. And I wrote poems for my son. Then I wrote a children’s story, Beatrice Loses Her Doll. That story ended up getting published by Concordia.
I had forgotten I wanted to be a writer, but God didn’t. 🙂 I’m still a writer!
Tamela Hancock Murray
I appreciate every comment. I’m privileged that all of you read my blog posts. Thank you so much, and Happy New Year!
I’m a little behind, but thank you, Tamela. Very inspiring! A very Happy New Year!