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My 6 Steps to Becoming A Writer

Updated: Jun 3, 2021

I had jitters when I first stepped in front of a classroom. I had jitters leading my first department meeting—and maybe my second and third. I also had jitters sharing my writing. I just had to push past them. As humans or divine disciples, we all have had doubts and fears from time to time. God can handle all that and move us forward anyway. He knew what I needed to keep me going, so I was able to keep it moving–uncertainties and all–from the moment I started until now. It has been seven fulfilling years, and seeing my lifelong passion unfold before me is truly a blessing. I wake up every day with excitement.

A scribe at work

I've watched a friend follow an unconventional path after her retirement. She sold her house and gave away all her possessions to travel. All she owns is what she can carry in a few suitcases. She had to reassess her priorities to make the unconventional decision and probably use some unconditioned mental muscle to follow through. Anyone who pursues new arenas develops new muscles and acquires new memories. In the process, that person becomes a fuller version of themselves. . And although my writing adventures may not be as dramatic, it is a venture into new territory nonetheless. Granted my journey is not complete. While I am becoming, I can also say that I am-–a writer. During the process, I learned a few things about what it takes to journey forward.

  1. Write. Get into a writing regiment. Whether its fifteen minutes a daily or one hour a week. Set up a schedule to write and stick with it. Toni Morrison would rise early in the morning before her children.

2. Get feedback. Former New York City Mayor Koch used to always ask, “How’m I doin’?” I don’t know if he really wanted an answer, but he was known for asking the question. We need to truly ask this of ourselves whatever our venture. At some point, we need to know how it looks, or sounds, or reads. We need to know if we’re achieving what we intended. In education (my previous field), one measurement is the observation report . Some teachers dread them; others welcome them. I tried to write effective and useful ones from which a dedicated teacher could grow. In my new arena, I had to open myself up to feedback as a writer and joined several writing groups. When their schedules conflicted with my other responsibilities, I started my own. Thank God for Meetup. I received supportive and informed feedback from that group as well as from other writing groups, a book group and friends.

Getting feedback is pivotal to your success. (Deer convene at FDU.)