Monday, May 23, 2016
Reading and Writing - A Stiff Minuet or a Waltz - Part 2
The more I read both non-fiction and fiction, the more I wanted to write. Yet, my brief attempts and the lack of resources made it seem impossible. I still wrote here and there, but limited it to materials we needed for our Sunday School and tape ministry. The two activities - reading and writing - were related but separate in my mind and heart.
When my late husband and I were dating, I shared some of my work with him. He liked how I illustrated my points and urged me to pursue my dream. After we were married, I looked for connections in my new state to the Christian writing community. I finally discovered a writer's group that met in the next town.
These wonderful folks critiqued my work, told me about writers conferences, and linked me with resources. A small regional conference caught my eye, but the thought of presenting my writing to the professionals terrified me. My husband encouraged me to attend. Okay - he almost shoved me out the door.
There I met an editor of an online publication, who liked my sample. She assigned a devotional to me, and I sat there like the proverbial "deer in the headlights." We not only worked together for several years, but also became friends.
As I took my first writer baby steps, I learned many things:
1. Reading in your genre will help you grow as a writer.
2. Fiction techniques used in non-fiction resulted in more acceptances.
3. The only way to mature as a writer was to actually sit down and write.
Attending conference workshops, prowling writing blogs, and picking the brains of other writers, gave me a new perspective on reading. I gained an appreciation for the non-fiction and fiction I devoured. While the entertainment/learning aspect was still there, I discovered a new source of inspiration for my own work.
Reading and writing - we were finally waltzing together.
Writers: What impact did reading have on your writing dreams?
Readers: While enjoying a wonderful book, have you ever thought about writing one yourself? Please share.
Photo Credit: Benjamin Earwicker