I’m compelled to learn from other writers. I enjoy reading about their journey and how God uses them. Becoming a writer never ends. There is always something new to learn. What makes a good writer? What does it take to get work published? How does one build a platform? What kind of posts should one write for their blog? The questions are countless and the answers differ. How do we find our own voice?
On my journey to becoming a blogger and writer I have met several who desire to grow in their ministry of writing. God has put it on my heart to ask other writers to share their story. We will be sharing a new story every Thursday and we hope that you will be encouraged and inspired to write!!!
Thank you for joining us and please let me know if you would like to share your story about becoming a writer. More information at the bottom of post.
Lisa Brown Creator Of Me Too Moments For Moms
Ten Things I’ve Learned Along the Way Andrea Fortenberry
My writing journey began early in my life. I believe it started with my love for reading, which my mother helped instill in me. Although she was a young mother, she had the wisdom and foresight to start reading to me when I was an infant. When I learned to read for myself, my nose was always in a book.
When I was in the fourth grade my aunt bought me a children’s writing software program for the computer. I was able to write stories and even insert cool 1990’s clip art! My love for reading and writing grew as I did and in high school I became editor of the student newspaper.
When it was time to go to college and decide what I wanted to be when I grew up, I knew it had to be something with writing. I decided on journalism and went to a university with a wonderful program. I served in various positions on the student newspaper and was the Editor in Chief of the student magazine my senior year. Those college years gave me so much experience in not only writing, but all aspects of publication production.
After college I had two different jobs that involved writing, editing and corporate communications. Now I’m at home with my children and I also blog, write and speak to churches and women’s groups.
No matter where you are in your writing journey, there’s always room to grow. Here’s a list of ten things I’ve learned that will help you become a better writer:
- Read Voraciously: In your genre and out of your genre. I also highly recommend reading books about writing. Some of my favorites are On Writing Well by William Zinser and The Grammar Bible.
- Write, Write, Write! The amount of time you can write will vary with that of other writers, but forget about that and give yourself a goal that fits with your current season.
- Find a Way to Catalogue Your Ideas: I love the app Evernote and I keep a running list of writing ideas. I often think of topics or things I want to get on paper while I’m driving or out grocery shopping. Try to capture them as soon as possible so that you can refer back to them. When I try to rely on my memory alone, I usually forget and lose a great idea or excerpt. I also keep a notebook and pen on my nightstand because sometimes a great idea strikes as I’m falling asleep.
- Buy The Christian Writer’s Market Guide: It’s a great reference book of publications where you can sell your writing.
- Attend a Writer’s Conference: Not only can you meet with publishers and agents, which is super awesome, but you will also gain incredible knowledge from the sessions. Network with other writers and keep in touch with one another after the conference is over. I highly recommend She Speaks through Proverbs 31 Ministries.
- Embrace Editing: I’ll never forget how one of my first college journalism assignments looked after my professor returned it—it bled green ink! It stung a little bit because I thought I was a good writer; the green ink made me feel otherwise. But my kind professor guided me and helped me to see that his editing marks would help me become an even better writer. Everyone needs an editor! Have a teachable heart embrace feedback whenever you get it.
- Join a Writers Group: You’ll create relationships with other writers and find accountability and support. I recommend joining The American Christian Writers Association and finding a local chapter to link up with.
- Stop Comparing and Let Your Own Voice Shine: Comparison will only steal your inspiration and motivation. Be you as you write. You have awesome things to say that someone needs to read! Remember this: “God does not call the qualified. He qualifies those He has called.”
All writers get discouraged sometimes, even the ones who have been writing for years like me. No matter where you started out or are currently in your own writing journey, there is always room to grow. Writing is a craft that evolves over time as you learn and as you continue to write. It is His calling on your life that makes you qualified to be a writer!
- Trust God with Your Dreams: A dear friend, fellow writer and mentor, Georglyn Rosenfeld wrote the following words to me a few years ago. She passed away last summer, so her words are extra special to me now. I share them with you because I believe their truth applies to all of God’s writer girls:
God knows your heart and He would not have given you the desire to have a speaking and writing ministry if He didn’t intend to bring it to fruition in your life.
- Trust God with the Results: “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” – Zechariah 4:10a NLT.
Whether you’re a new writer or you’ve been a writer for years, whether you have a large platform or a small one, God wants to use you. Don’t rush the process, but trust that you’re where God wants you today. Be obedient to writing and trust Him with the results, both as a writer and in the number of people that you reach.
Connect With Andrea
My Blog: http://andreafortenberry.com
If you are interested in writing a post about your journey as a writer please check out the following post. Writing Opportunity
14 thoughts on “Becoming A Writer – Part 1”
“Trust God with your dreams” and “Trust God with the results”! Such great encouragement! It’s so easy for me to become discouraged when I don’t see the results that don’t align with my hope and expectations. I’ll also be checking out that resource you mentioned for Christian writers! Thanks, Andrea! Great post to kick off this series!!
Thank you, Megan! 🙂
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Andrea, your post is a treasure of useful tips for the developing writer! My favorite one, though, is number eight. Believing that God has given me a unique voice and wants me to write from it for His glory is so important to remember. Thank-you for sharing your writing journey!
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