The Soul Tells a Story
"How'd you get your start as a writer?" This is a question I've been asked a lot, and which I've done my share of asking.
Thing is, it has an ambiguous answer, because it's generally not a question about the writer-in-question, but about sweet you (or me), the inquirer... as we wonder how we might follow the same path towards publication.
If you asked that question of me, you could discover that, for over a decade, I wrote about air fresheners, baby wipes, Spanish wine, leather-bound collectible books and color film (right, they used to make film when I was a wee little writer :). Anyway, this might give you hope that writers can get their start just about anywhere, even in the wipes department.
I could tell you that I eventually started speaking, first at wedding showers, and later for a bible-teaching ministry, which eventually led to the infamous egg-and-cheese breakfast. This is the one where my spouse said, "You're doing a lot of interesting things, but I think you should be a writer. Writing is your greatest gift."
So we set off to get a professional opinion. And I was counseled to "publish something, talk at retreats, and go to Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference." I had a terrible time trying to get published in magazines, so after a year and a half of consistent rejections, in desperation I jumped the gate and began blogging. (The Blogging Editor has since kindly published hundreds and hundreds of my articles. :)
Going to the writer's conference turned out to be a good idea. I met great people, learned I wasn't alone in my struggles, and received interest in the book proposal my spouse
In the end, I don't know if any of this can answer the opening question. Because how-I-got-my-start-in-writing may not parallel how you'll get your start. Maybe you'll write about the virtues of 5-point seatbelt systems or the relative elasticity of bungee cords for a decade, before you seek (or not) publication.
More likely, in this day of viral successes, you'll join a community like HighCallingBlogs (open to new members on January 5th, btw), SheWrites, or CCblogs; and if you make people laugh, cry, or sigh about 5-point seatbelt systems, you'll probably get called out by the community. People will begin following you, you may get recommended for feature, or you may even be asked to write specifically for whatever site you join.
At which point you might throw convention to the wind, jump the gate and self-publish. It's easier than ever these days. Or perhaps a traditional publisher will take notice and offer you a contract.
Either way, because I love a good story, I'll probably want to know... how'd you get your start as a writer?
Speaking of getting your start as a writer, I recommend this gentle read: The Soul Tells a Story: Engaging Creativity with Spirituality in the Writing Life.
And Bonnie of Being Transformed has just won a copy in our New Year's Giveaway. Congratulations, Bonnie. :) Also, thanks to everyone who joined our celebration with their beautiful "Beginnings" posts.
The Soul Tells a Story photo, by L.L. Barkat.
How to Write a Book Proposal
Publishing Advice from Industry Experts
Melo's Why Write or Share?
Bradley's, from the archives, How God Saved My Life Through Writing
Glynn's How I Became a Writer
Would you like to add your thoughts about Writing Journeys? Melo did a post and it got me thinking, wouldn't it be nice to hear from more of us? (Jennifer, you could turn your comment into a post! :) Anyway, if you want to post something, I'll link. Just drop your link into the comment box here.