“You’re a writer, so start acting like one,” he said. “Stop waiting to be picked.”
Of the hundreds of inspirational quotes I’d read about ‘becoming’ a writer and dutifully filed away in my to-revisit-later journal, these phrases by Jeff Goins are the two that spurred me to put fingers to keyboard. The opening paragraph of my story that lived on my hard drive through the baby-raising years morphed into a rough draft of a novel. You see, the voices in my head had grown increasingly louder. While I made sandwiches, wiped sticky handprints off the cabinets and yes, stepped on Legos, my imaginary friends became impatient. Snippets of dialogue, the first elements I write down to compose my scenes, popped into my head when I least expected it. On two separate occasions, I physically turned around to see if there was another adult in the room with me. The characters became that real, the need to write a compulsion.
No, I’m not crazy. I’m a writer. And I’m acting like one.
I can’t honestly say that God told me to write, as I didn’t hear an audible voice of instruction. There wasn’t a road sign. No divine text messages. But I do believe He’d equipped me to start. The process was painful. Hours upon hours of crafting sentences that were often so hideous, I deleted them in shame and embarrassment. But those were followed by another page completed, then chapters.
Although God didn’t tell me to write, He has showered me with blessings as I’ve started to use the gifts He gave me. A contest entry motivated me to finish writing the whole thing. A delightful editor (definitely a gift from above) patiently showed me how to improve my craft.
Fast-forward almost three years and a contract is signed. A small press is taking a chance on a debut author. That book baby launches in twenty-four days.
I’m 25,000 words away from completing book number two.
I’ve collected a paycheck for a freelance project. Somebody actually paid me to write something. Then he offered me additional work. Pinch me.
Yes, I’m a writer. And I’m acting like one.
If you are a writer and feel like the only person reading your work is you, take heart. Don’t give up. Keep writing. Join a fabulous community of writers like the Five Minute Friday crowd and take a leap of faith. The world will be a better place because you wrangled those words onto the page or screen and courageously shared them.
Link up with Lisa Jo Baker today and every Friday to share your thoughts on the current prompt. Details here.