Today’s Wednesday Writers Wisdom comes from Pastor Cammy. She tells us about the writing process both as an author and a pastor.
Writing is NOT for the Faint of Heart
Writing for the public is not for the faint of heart or the thinned skinned. My experience, as a Pastor and Author is that in either one of these careers the prerequisite is that you have a good sense of self, and self-esteem to make it through the process without being totally beat up, beat down, and spit out. I have heard it said that writers are anti-social because of their passion for the written word. However, I believe the opposite is true. In Fact, I believe that writers and pastors are the most egocentric people that God has graced us with, I can say that because I am both and must battle my ego constantly. I think it is God’s way of keeping me in check, so my head doesn’t over inflate and explode all over the walls.
Many writers began as a child writing in their diaries. For me as an only child from an abusive home, my dairy was my lifeline. Until one day, as I watched my lifeline go up in flames as it was tossed into the fireplace. I didn’t write anything more than assignments in school and college after I watched my words go up in flames that day. Until one day, the Lord walked me through the process of giving my writing back to me. I do mean a process, and one that I believe all good writers should go through it order to get their true message out. That is a story for another time. However, I believe that I can share an easy, step-by-step process to get the writer/story-teller in all of us to begin telling our own stories. I also believe that I can share some vital insight and information to seasoned writers and authors.
Step One: Begin writing about what you know or are wondering. At this point in my process, I began writing curriculum for bible studies instead of using prefab’d studies that every church group has available to them. My advice for any would be writers, start a daily journal, and begin writing down whatever comes into your mind to write down for the day and at the end of the day recap what you did during the day. You will need to do this several times throughout the day, simply so you can remember what you thinking about, several hours or weeks later.
Step Two: Periodically, go through your journal, and read what you wrote. As you read what you have written down, begin writing down questions that may pop into your head. Ask your own questions also begin asking questions that others might have about the story that you are trying to tell. That is, if you see a story line developing through your writing and questioning. If not, don’t despair, keep journaling and keep asking questions. Remember, the only stupid question is the one that you don’t ask. The world is full of answers, you just have to know where to look and be willing listen.
Step Three: Listen.
I think everyone could use a lesson or two in learning to listen to what is going on around them and listening to people. As an author and a pastor, I continually have to listen to what is going on around me. I continually have to ask myself, “Am I addressing issues that are important to people, or have I gone off onto my own little world.” I have learned that every individual has a world all their own. What do I mean by that? I mean, my world and my experiences are not like yours. Our life experience may have some of the same basic components however, based upon our worldview, as to others or our own we each see the world as a whole differently. As writers, it is our responsibility to cross those “world divides” to show the unity and continuity within each frame of reference (our own little worldview), and how each fits within the entire scope of an overall worldview. I believe that this is a key to authors who can not only cross genres but become those authors that are a voice for the voiceless, regardless of individual worldviews. Listening in the writing world is referred to as, knowing your audience. In life, it is known as walking in someone else’s shoes, to learn from their perspective.
As I said in the beginning, “Writing is Not for the Faint of Heart”. Most writers feel as though they have the next BEST SELLER, and they are going to become RICH, RICH, RICH from their writing. NEW FLASH: if you are writing to get rich, you are writing for the wrong reason and it ain’t gonna happen that easily. Every year there are something like 20000+ newly released books, and that’s only the ones that the general writing world sees. That’s not counting self-published authors, etc… The stories that you hear about those Rags to Riches stories of so many well-known authors, are the exception rather than the rule. The only reason there should be for wanting to write and publish a book is to get your message out, to that ONE person that needs to hear your story or your message. That is the true purpose to our writing. To speak to that one person and needs to hear what we have to say, so as to spark that flame within them saying like the little train that could… “I think I can”, “I can go on”, “If they can do that, just maybe I can do what I have always dreamed.”
Writers are Igniters. We ignite individual candles and destiny fans the flame. So I ask you, are you simply wanting the glow of your own little candle, or are you writing to ignite someone else’s?
Links to Books, You-Tube video of 60 day prayer challenge, Facebook pages, and my personal Facebook page.
60 Day Prayer Challenge – Casting your Cares Project
Link to purchase in Paperback or E-Book formats:
Link to my both my books’ facebook pages:
A Life of Significance and Handbook for Sharing Your Faith
Cammy Walters personal facebook page
Ministry facebook page:
Eddie’s Acres Project page.
Please feel free to ask Pastor Cammy any questions in the comments.
Have some advice you’d like to share? Contact Me and let me know!