Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I Am A Writer...

What are you?

The ACFW online course loop this month is titled "Too shy to pitch and promote". Terry Burns is leading it as a question and answer type of course, and I'm finding it very helpful.

Currently, we are discussing "getting into character". Ie. Engaging the part of our persona that reveals confidence and allows us to coherently talk to strangers in an intelligent, positive manner while preventing our shyness from stealing those opportunities to pitch and promote the work God has led us to create.

Some have suggested that the base to harnessing that confidence is in how we perceive ourselves when it comes to writing.

Do we think of ourselves as a writer wannabe, aspiring writer, writer-in-training? What title do we honestly deserve?

I admit, I've been underestimating myself for some time. I'm on my fourth short contemporary novel, and yet I still refer to myself as a wannabe, or aspiring, or an in-training writer. But no more.

I've spent the better part of the last six years of my life studying writing, and physically and mentally fitting words and scenes together to craft faithful romances worth pondering. I have been writing!

I may not be a published writer of full-length fiction yet, but I am a writer. None of what I've accomplished so far could be possible without God, I know, but I can humbly and honestly say that through Him, I have become a real writer. I can't stop dreaming up stories. And I can't stop contemplating the best way to present those stories on the page.

Writing is a major part of me, and I am a part of my writing, therefore I am a writer.

"Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that." Galatians 6:4

I'm so glad I got that figured out.

Now, it's your turn. Are you, plain and simple (though perhaps enormously challenged at times like me), a writer?


Surrendering to Him,

Eileen

16 comments:

sherrinda said...

Oooo, I love that verse in Galations! Perfect!!!

I am in my first WIP, so I still consider myself a writer wannabe. I haven't written articles, short stories, or anything else that would, in my mind, qualify me to be "a writer". Not yet, anyway! I will be though.

After 4 manuscripts, I would definitely say you are a writer! Your time to get published is most likely closer than you think, because your craft has been honed with each MS. Just sink yourself into what you are....A Writer!

Terri Tiffany said...

I love that verse too!! Great one! You are a writer for sure. You write wonderful blogs and I bet your books are just as good. It's time you submitted and there are some great places to start.
check out my other blog
clermontchristianwriters dot com
for some ideas of places.
It took me a few published pieces to convince me too that I am a writer. I think I just needed to know someone else validated me.

Jessica said...

Good for you! :-)
I'm on my fourth manuscript, like you, and do feel that I'm a writer. It's a good feeling. :-)

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Sherrinda, if you haven't called yourself a writer by the time you write "The End" on your first manuscript and are ready to start your next, be sure to ask for a pep talk from me. I would hate for you to deceive yourself and God's desire of you for as long as I did.

And thanks for the encouraging words. God knows what His plans are for my stories. I have learned so very much about Him and myself in the writing of them that they have far surpassed any value I could have accomplished alone, so I leave it all in His loving hands.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Terri, Thanks for the kind words of encouragement, and for the new site to check out. I love checking out new recommended sites.

And you are so very right about the "validation" factor. I imagine myself inhaling a deep breath of gratitude the day I receive a contract, if that's in God's plan for me. But I must always remember that He is the ultimate validator. If my words do not please God, then I've terribly done wrong and wouldn't want them exposed to anyone.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Hi, Jessica:

We're twins. Both on our fourth ms. Looking at your counter, though, I think you'll finish first. Let the race begin! LOL

Georgiana said...

This is such an important transition to make. You ARE a writer, Eileen! Great post.

Rick said...

Very good. And congratulations. I'd give you a diploma if I had one to give.

Jody Hedlund said...

I love to consider myself a writer. But I struggle when I have to tell other people I'm still not published (at least with fiction).

Many non-writers don't validate the "writer" title until you have a book in print, or something tangible to show them. So that makes it hard for me to say that I'm a writer. Often I find myself saying "I like to write" which is the cowardly way, I know!

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Georgiana, it's been a long time coming. But feels good!

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Rick,
I think just saying it, believing it, is equal to receiving the Math diploma that hangs in my office. Very satisfying.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Jody, I never said I was a PUBLISHED writer, but I am a writer, and so are you!

When they ask if you're published, you can honestly say, "Not yet, but I'm working on that, God willing."

Jeannie Campbell said...

I'm a writer! I love it, feel compelled to do it, can't stop doing it. That makes me a writer.....great post.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Jeannie, I just read your snippet on Seekerville. YOU ARE A WRITER! No doubt about it.

Although, I must say, I want to rip that guy to shreds for what he did. If this is a romance and he's the hero, I really want to know how he redeems himself. I'll be watching for when this gets published.

Jeannie Campbell said...

eileen...he is the hero...and it wasn't for show. :) that's how he redeems himself. but thanks for the kudos! love encouragement!

and love the music on your site!

sherrinda said...

Awww, Eileen, thanks for your sweet comment on my blog. Your offering on Seekerville was soooo sigh-worthy! I love the feeling I get when I read something and my heart kinda skips a beat and then I just sigghhhh. That's what happened when I read yours. Perfect!