I NEED TO STEP BACK

IM000946.JPGI’ve been trying to write a novel. I chose a story line, picked my main characters, chose a location and situation. I did tons of research. Why am I having such a problem writing the book? Every time I have a portion of it critiqued by my writers’ group I leave wondering if I really know what I’m doing.

I recently finished reading “Writers On Writing”, a collection of articles by top Christian authors sharing their writing secrets. In the article written by Sally Stuart this paragraph jumped out at me:

“I run into first-time authors all the time who are attempting to start out by writing a book. I always recommend they go back and begin with articles or other short pieces. There is a lot to learn about writing that is best learned by creating and polishing those shorter pieces. It also allows you to begin developing your reputation and credentials for writing those books in the future.”  

That is exactly what I needed to read. I’m trying to jump into the deep end of writing when I am not prepared. I need to stay in the shallow end for a while longer. Therefore, I am stepping back. The novel will be written at some point, but for now I need to get back to the basic roots of writing.

I have begun. I revised two of my older short stories and submitted them to a couple contests. I am also writing a weekly devotional on www.thewritingshow.com . The daily devotional blog I wrote in 2012 prepared me to write the devotionals I am doing now. I look back on the first ones I wrote last year and compare them to what I am writing now and there is a big change for the good.

I need to work on short stories, one small piece at a time. I must continue studying books on writing. Most importantly, I have to practice, practice, practice my writing daily. This last point has gotten away from me. There is no reason why I can’t spend some time everyday writing like I did last year producing the daily devotionals. I could do it then, I can do it now.

My new goal for this year is to improve writing short stories and, perhaps, win, or at least place, in a contest or two. I must research publications to find the ones that will be a fit for my type of stories. It would be fantastic if I could have one of my stories published by the end of the year.

I am going to take it slow. I will become a determined student,  gather all the knowledge of the craft I can, and diligently work on my writing. I know I can count on the members of my writing group to support and encourage me.

Have any of you who are reading this come to this same realization, that maybe you are jumping into the deep end when you’re not ready? Please write a comment of your experience. I’d love to hear from others who may be going through the same thing.

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