5 Things I've learned from a Year of Writing

1.     As a writer, I have to look at the big picture.

I need long range goals that overarch the multiple short term ones I also have to focus on – it’s a marathon not a sprint.  I’m learning that patience is not my strong suit.  I want to do it all and I want to do it right now.

2.     As a writer, I assumed that I just needed to write something of quality. 

As an avid long time reader my thought was that if I wrote something intriguing, interesting or truthful and insightful, someone would one day love it and ask to publish it for me.  Um…wrong… lol!  I literally had no idea how publishing worked and just assumed that a good quality product was all it would take.  I was incredibly naïve.

3.     Serious authors are spending time not just writing books but training themselves in a variety of activities!

Marketing, growing social media platforms, engaging themselves in speaking opportunities and a myriad of other activities to get their books in people’s hands.  It’s not just a write it and they will come world we live in.

4.     Writers who have a career in writing spend years to be successful.

This has been a tough lesson. I was hoping to be the exception, because I am exceptional and all. –little joke! The reality is that there is a lot of different things that go into what makes a successful writer and if I want to be at it long term I need to build a broad foundation.

5.     I’ve learned during this year of writing that I really enjoy writing a wide variety of things. Let me write all the genres - Non Fiction, Devotionals, Short stories, Blogging and even copywriting.   But the thing that I absolutely love and could lost in doing is by far Fiction.  I love turning a story around in my mind and getting the parts in place to keep it interesting.  SO.MUCH.FUN!

BONUS: One more bonus thing I’ve learned.  I thought I knew all the rules for grammar, but it turns out sometimes they change things. Like double spacing after a period is out…but that’s stuck in my mind for days.  Thank goodness there’s a Word hack for fixing that!

Novel Analysis

If you have been a reader for any length of time, you know that the analysis of the story leads a reader to search for deeper meaning within the written words.  Most novels are driven by either the characters that drive them, or by the plot itself.   I am intrigued by the process and the analysis for Fractured has brought some really important concepts to the forefront of my mind.

1. Choices have consequences.  Life is chock full of choices.

Consequences can be escaped for a short while, but not forever. Beware your sins will always find you out.

We reap what we sow. Not just a tenet of Scripture, a real life proverb.  If you plant a tomato seed, you will reap a tomato plant, likewise kernels of corn reap corn stalks with new ears of corn.  Laws of Nature.


2.     Surround yourself with good friends.  They influence you more than you realize, and you make choices you might not otherwise have faced if not for your friend’s influence.  I would dare to say that most people who end up in prison can trace their path to the people they hung out with.

"Lay down with dogs you get up with fleas." An old quote, with such truth.

Evil communications corrupt good manners.

While my novel, Fractured, is not what I would consider Christian Fiction, it does track with certain undeniable principles of life lessons based in Scripture.  The characters themselves are not believers, and don’t find God.  They do experience real life trials, based solely on their own decision making and that is something that everyone universally can relate to.  

A fresh start can also be gained, but can never be fully achieved without facing head-on the consequences of prior acts.  Restoration can never be completed without an eye on the future free of guilt and shame.  So while moving on may look appealing and seem possible, our past always has a way of returning in ways we can never anticipate.

These underlying themes of my novel were not intentional.  I wrote the story based on a particular way I thought the story should go, but the outcome is definitely one that has these undercurrents running through it.  I am fascinated by what I find as I go back and dig into the story as I continue to improve it and to be able to best explain to those I pitch the book to. 

What about you?  

If you are a writer, do you purposely write with a meaning in mind? or does it seem to occur because of your worldview?  

If you are a reader, do you read purely for entertainment value without thinking deeply on meaning? or do you search for what could be hidden among the written word?