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


Marja Verschoor-Meijers said...

Haha, your husband almost shoved you through the door... well, good for him.

Karen Lange said...

Lol - I like Marja's comment! Appreciate this analogy, Susan. Have a good week!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Marja - He came close!

Hi Karen - Yeah, I was more than a little timid about this whole writing gig. :)

Anonymous said...

Reading has been my motivator to write, always. I'm not exactly sure why! Maybe in part because I love stories and just want there to be more in the world!

Unknown said...

I'm so glad you decided to write! A lot of personal insight here, thanks, good advice. Loves.