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photo: canva graphic: Martha G. Brady

photo: canva
graphic: Martha G. Brady

I’m joining a group of friends…old and new, at Kate Motaung’s blog for the next 6 weeks each Monday and Wednesday. We’re working through a  great book on the writing life called ON BEING A WRITER: 12 Simple Habits for a Writing Life that Lasts, by Ann Kroeker & Charity Singleton Craig.

If you are a writer, published or not, join us. Do you journal privately, write on a blog, write best sellers? It makes no difference. Join all of us in this group and learn more about  what it takes to improve your writing life.

These two writers were featured at our retreat in an online discussion. I enjoyed them very much and know I’ll learn much from this book that will improve my writing skills and habits!

Am I a writer? Yes. I still say it with trepidation. I hold my breath thinking someone will shout out, “Fake! Fraud!”

Am I a writer? Yes. I still say it with trepidation. I hold my breath thinking someone will shout out, Fake! Share on X

I think to myself, “But I’m not nearly as good as Mr. X or Miss Y.” Then I realize that isn’t the point. Writing is not a game of comparing.

Do I like their styles? Yes. Do I have a long way to go in developing my own writing skills? Absolutely! But that makes me no less a writer.

Do I like their styles? Yes. Do I have a long way to go in developing my own writing skills? Absolutely! Share on X

I still look forward to the day when can I earn money doing it. I’ve been doing this (blogging) since 2007. I was 61 years old! But the technological side of it has been a steep learning curve! I still have a lot to learn.

It seems that once I learn one chunk of it, I open a door and find a whole new realm of things I need to learn! It can be overwhelming at times!

I hear people who have said they always wanted to be writers. I used to laugh and say, “I never wanted to be a writer until recently.”

I forgot that I had dreams of writing as a child and young mother

But then I remembered early stories I wrote in elementary school. They usually started with “Once upon a time…” because that was the way most of the stories I read began. I just knew my stories would someday be famous. Did I have delusions of grandeur or did I want to be a writer?

I don’t know. I just know that it wasn’t long before I was told that writing was no way to make a living and I needed to be practical.

What could I do? My parents were both teachers. It was fun to be a teacher in the pretend world of a young child, but the realities of teaching were not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I thought I wanted to be a doctor, but decided if I wanted a normal family life, nursing would be the wisest way to go.

It was a great profession. It was never dull…ever! Learning not only about the human body, but about people and what made them tick…so interesting. It truly was and has been. What I learned in nursing helped me as a pastor’s wife and vice versa.

When my two girls were young I went through a surge of creativity that included writing. It was after my father’s sudden death of a heart attack. It shook my world! Writing and journaling became part of my way of dealing with the shock.

I wrote free poetry for the first time in my life. No, it probably wasn’t any good. I have no idea what even makes good free poetry! But it was a great release for me when my feelings were so raw that full sentences didn’t help.

I do remember writing enough that I read some books on writing and learned about query letters. But I never had anything that I thought merited being sent off to a magazine or publisher.

Shortly after Ron retired #1, writing came back to me

Meanwhile, we moved from Jamaica to the U.S. Life got very busy. A number of moves later, after the children were grown, we moved to a small town outside of Peoria, IL…from TX…in the middle of January! I was freezing cold and felt a little lost.

Someone told me about blogs. I had never read one before. I started reading. As I read, I saw mommy bloggers giving child raising advice to each other that wasn’t always wise. They were all in the middle of the same season. They didn’t have the overview picture of raising a child to adulthood! They needed some voices of older women to speak up!

I was a an unacknowledged writer, but a writer just the same!

I didn’t think I was a very good writer, but I couldn’t keep quiet! People who know me will laugh and say, “No surprise there!”

I didn’t tell anyone when I first started my blog. I had something to link to when commenting on other blogs though. I broke all kinds of rules. I had no idea there were rules, much less what they were!

No, I didn’t have people flocking to my posts. I still don’t. But I have more than I did. And I’m learning.

To be a writer, intent and effort need to be present (as described in this chapter). That is a helpful, objective ruler for me.

But intent and effort have been there as I regularly write. On my blog, I have written for 6 years like clockwork about 3 times a week…give or take.

So, I’m a writer. But I have no money to prove I’m a writer. I’m not the writer I want to be. Or the writer I wish I were.

Therein lies the reason for my attendance at blog and writing conferences and participation in this kind of forum.

Keep improving, keep writing, keep doing what makes you unique

So I keep learning how to improve. I write. I edit. And sometimes GOD uses my words to touch the hearts of women. It is humbling when it happens because I know I’m not innately, overwhelmingly or stunningly gifted! The right words don’t just ooze from me. When and if they come, it is a bit of a miracle.

And that’s what makes it fun. To put ideas down on paper, edit them in a way that is organized and somewhat creative and watch GOD use them.

Sometimes I get feedback, sometimes I don’t. It doesn’t really matter if GOD is glorified, does it?