I’m Trying to Become a Writer

I’m trying to become a writer.

For the last few months I have done all within my power to learn more about the craft of writing. Stephen King told me in On Writing to “not come lightly to the page.” Anne Lamott showed me that the act of writing turns out to be its own reward; that publication shouldn’t be my end goal. Her book, Bird by Bird, revealed to me the ideas of short assignments and {cough} “poor” first drafts. According to Steven Pressfield, art is war and resistance is the enemy within. He encouraged me by saying, “If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), ‘Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?’ chances are you are.” Because I ask myself that question all the time.

I soon discovered that learning about writing didn’t make me a writer…Click here to find out what I discovered it takes to actually become a writer, an artist, a leader and even a Christian.

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Today I have the privilege of guest posting at author, Mary DeMuth’s blog! I was able to sit down with Mary at the writer’s conference I attended in April, and she is as encouraging and friendly as she seems in her writing.

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On Reading

{courtesy of photobucket}

Reading is the creative center of a writer’s life. {Stephen King, On Writing}

I have been doing a lot of reading lately.

Reading has got to be one of my favorite hobbies, and one that I have neglected this past year. Anyone remember the book reading challenge I was doing? My goal for 2010 was to read 35 books I’d never read before…I failed. This year, I have not set a number, but I think I may have already exceeded last year’s number.

I wanted to share with you some of my favorites so far…

1. On Writing, by Stephen King

I read this book in one day. Nuff said. Ok, I’ll tell you a little more. Part memoir, part writing class; I was hooked from the beginning. A number of people have said this is the one writing book you should read if you’re serious about writing. My thoughts are this is a book you should read, period.

2. One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp

Where King’s book is “on writing,” Ann’s book is “on gratitude.” King uses his life experiences and lessons to teach you how to write a better story, Ann is doing the same to lead you to a better relationship with God. The first chapter had me crying. The second chapter really made me think. I can’t wait to see what chapter three brings. What I’m really enjoying about this book is that (In)Courage is going through it as part of their first Bloom book club. What does that mean? Hundreds of other women are reading this book at the same time as you, and you can all discuss it together on the message board. Also, Ann has filmed a short video for each chapter, along with Angie Smith and Jessica Turner, where they discuss the chapter. When else do you get to walk through a book with the author? I would encourage you to join up, we’re only on chapter 2, because it has really been a unique experience.

3. Made to Crave, by Lysa TerKeurst

One of the sacrifices I knew this year would include was related to my eating habits. God is forcing me to look at “why” I am eating, not just “what” I am eating. Then I began seeing people talking about Lysa’s book. I’m so glad I bought this. I’m only in chapter one, and already what she’s said is so applicable to what God is already doing in my life:

With Jesus, if we want to gain, we must give up. If we want to be filled, we must deny ourselves. If we want to truly get close to God, we’ll have to distance ourselves from other things. {Lysa TerKeurst, Made to Crave}

This is just in the introduction! And can you see how it corresponds to more than just dieting? There are so many things in our life that we can turn to instead of God. I would recommend this book for anyone who feels like they’re fighting a losing battle with their temptations.

4. A Deeper Story

Ok, this isn’t a book, but you really need to check out this blog! It is a collection of some of my favorite lady bloggers, and they’re talking about the tough things in life and faith: divorce, death, cursing, self-criticism, hatred, politics, sex, aging. They aren’t pulling their punches and the comments sections are full of life and truth. When I grow up I want to write like them…

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I didn’t really talk about the fast much this week, so I thought I’d put a little recap up here. Basically, God is teaching me to lay my expectations at His feet. I had a plan for how I thought these three weeks would go; things have not turned out as planned.

When Josh and I committed our evenings to seeking God together, I secretly thought it would foster lovey-dovey feelings right in time for Valentines Day and our 10-year anniversary. Ha! We have discovered that when you invite God into your life to shake things up and draw you closer to Him, He takes full advantage of that invitation. He’s cleaning out the stuff we shoved under the bed. Our conversations have been painful, raw and healing.

The main thing we learned this week is that what you might view as an attack from the enemy could actually be God stirring up the depths to bring the broken, flawed and harmful things to the surface. It’s not fun, but it’s healthy.

What are reading now, or have read lately?

If you’re fasting, what did God do in your life this week?

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