Thursday, October 31, 2013

I am a writer!

While I was at Allume, I learned to call myself a writer. It's funny, but I always thought a writer was someone like Steven King or Nicholas Sparks. You know, someone who writes novels, for real money. 

I have always written. When I was young, I wrote in journals. I copied poetry from Teen Magazine into little flowered books with ribbons attached to mark my page. I honestly thought every girl did the same. The aisles at Target and the shelves at Barnes and Noble that house those many little journals were evidence that they were always in demand.

Earlier this year, I began writing emails to some members of my Bible study. I poured out my heart through the words in those emails. I wondered why I was {almost} the only one who shared my story in written words.  I thought it strange. I wanted to read heart felt words from others too. 

I have learned that not everyone writes. Some people never write anything more than to-do lists. They never put words to paper. They might think about their feelings or talk about their stories, but they can't remember ever writing them anywhere. Gasp....did you know that?

I said, "I am a writer!"
But...I have so much more to learn about being a good writer. I want to tell a story that is interesting, but I want it to sound like me. I want to share from my experiences and I want to make you think. I may even want to make you act. I want to write because by doing so, I find out more about myself and somehow, that makes sense. 

I attended several sessions at Allume that were focused on writing. 
One was called "The Core 5 of writing things that Matter!", by Lisa Whittle. She pointed out that good writers move people with their words. We don't want o write good words. We want to write words that matter.
Key points...

-Find the core.  Don't just write on the surface. Plunge deeper until you find the spot were words translate into the message that you are hoping to share, where you can connect with your reader.
-Don't settle. Push through anonymity. Write even if no one is reading. Push through the criticism. Write and you will get better.
-Understand the story. We tell stories to connect, to ready hearts, and then to nudge people toward receptive insight.
-Be see through.  Let go of your perfect. Others feel brave when you are honest and share your needs. Sometimes you have to ...just write.
-Write from the truest you.  Learn from other writers, but do not try to become them. Know yourself and accept yourself and stay close to those who believe in you. 

Sara Markley spoke about "Finding your True Voice". 
This goes back to finding out who you are. The people that we most like to read...are authentic, confident and comfortable in their skin. It is true, isn't it? To find your voice, it may take a little self discovery. Don't be scared of what you may find. It also takes practice. And once you find your voice...guard it. Keep it authentic. 

Andrea from the Organic Bird spoke about "How to tell hard stories!" She spoke about writing her own hard story and about the redemption and healing that came from that experience. She made it clear that sometimes your story may be what someone else needs to read. When we let go of pride and control, and allow God to work through our deeper stories, people are set free and given permission to tell their hard stories too. 

These speakers were genuine and full of grace. They know that this writing thing is a learning process for most of us.  As you can probably tell, I did not attend any classes on how to properly use punctuation. I did not diagram sentences and I did not even see a red correcting pen. I was enlightened and encouraged to keep writing my story...dots, dashes and all.

No more eXcuses! 
Keeping at it!

Today, I'm linking up with alphabe-Thursday. I'm hoping that Mrs Jenny will make an eXception and allow me to turn in my assignment from last week. There is an X in excuses.... but, "W" is for Writer! Join me and the rest of the class here!


  1. Wonderfully informative and creative post about writing ~ so glad you are 'being true to yourself' ~ happy writing ~ carol, xx

    1. Thank you Carol. Of course, I like being creative too.

  2. I think you have a lovely voice...

    keep on keeping on!

    1. That's so nice of ou to say! Thanks!

  3. So creative- happy writing too!

    1. I'd like to learn to be more creative! Thanks.

  4. I love to write too ! Already at school and then later, but nobody read what I wrote, now I am happy I can write about everything I want and at least Bloggers can read me ! Later I think I will take the most interesting posts and make a book out of them. Just for fun.

    1. Great idea. Blurb is a website that will make blog posts into books...with or without photos and comments. Neat!

  5. Love this, Jen!! So glad you enjoyed Allume so much! I love the 5 points!

    1. You would love Allume! Please look into it for next year!

  6. So happy for you, and I love that stack of your journals and such. I am a writer too, we have to stand up and shout it from the highest and lowest peaks everywhere!

  7. Hi Jen! Thank you for visiting my blog and for the lovely comment. You are definitely a good writer. I love this post and the 5 key points.

    Hugs to you!

  8. I've always enjoyed writing too, though I feel bad that I can't always find the right adjectives to make a scene more entertaining. Thanks for the key points! {:-Deb

  9. Melody, Gabe and Storybeader....
    Lisa expands much more with her five points on her blog. Link to it and you'll get soooo much more!

  10. I'm the same. I've never taken any writing classes and I don't quite know proper grammar but it's good to write. I think writing need not be perfect, but you can still perfect it if you want to. & those are some good advices. thanks for sharing them.

    have a great day.

  11. I feel like I can really relate to this post; like you, I started writing as a child (have diaries, journals, poems, short stories and prose from years ago) yet I *still* have a hard time calling myself a writer too (or an "artist" for that matter, nevermind that I've also been drawing and painting since childhood too). I would have loved to sit in on some of those sessions at Allume with you; it sounds like you were able to take away so much from that weekend!

    I hope you go to the conference next year. Would love to meet you in person!

  12. Good for you, Jen. I call myself a writer, too.
    I think what makes a writer is the need to write that will not be denied.


  13. I have always found Writing to be eXciting... There is something eXhilarating about eXpressing yourself through Written Words...

    These are some eXcellent tips too!
    I think all of us tend to run a little behind from time to time.

    Thanks for linking!

    A+ for "W" and A+ for "X"