This Writing Life

It’s so much easier to create a blog post than to make progress on my WIP.  That’s a “work in progress” for those of you outside the writing world. It’s even easier to fire off a couple of tweets on Twitter every day. Easier yet, is to waste a couple of hours reading fascinating Twitter posts by other people, and commenting on a few of those.  Sometimes I’d rather do laundry or clean the bathroom than work on what I’m supposed to be doing.

If you’ve seen this blog before, you also know I find my garden to be a huge attraction and a distraction. I do a little work out there and take pictures to prove I’ve done something.

I’m retired. Nobody is pushing me to accomplish any goals except myself. And I’m certainly not without goals.  I have several – maybe too many. I’m compelled to write or led to write.

I want to submit a short story next month in hopes of being accepted into a local anthology. I want to try again to have a piece accepted in the Upper Room devotional magazine.  They’ve rejected me several times, so I hope persistence will pay off one day.

But a major goal is to write a book that helps people develop a framework for understanding the ways we study the Bible. I’ve done a lot of research, organized the material, and have written some articles that will be sections of chapters. It’s also information that I’ve used for over forty years of my life, but I’ve never seen a resource that puts it together like I’m doing.

The other project I’ve been working on is a novel set in a church in Montgomery, Alabama. It covers the life of the congregation from its beginning in the late 1800’s to when it closes its doors in the early 2000’s. It’s a story that more and more people may find familiar, since a staggering number of churches are dwindling and disappearing every month. Montgomery is a rich setting with lots of history to weave into the story.

Last year, Eva Marie Everson, Managing Editor at Firefly Southern Fiction, was gracious enough to look at a very rough first chapter of the novel. She gave me some positive feedback as well as some much needed corrections. Her words to me were, “Learn this craft.” So that’s also what I’ve been doing for the past year when I’m not writing. I’ve done more reading about writing than actual writing. Since this is a new field for me, there’s a lot to learn.

I feel better now, after reading back over this post.

I have made progress.

Social media is a non-negotiable part of learning the craft, as part of the administrative side of the writing business. This website and my Twitter presence are part of my business plan. I hope one day, I will be accepted by Facebook, who suspended my account before I even finished registering. I haven’t looked into Instagram yet.  Pinterest baffles me.

If you’ve read this far, please know I appreciate those of you who read and follow what I’m writing. Henri Nouwen said, “Words need to be heard…A speaker needs a listener. A writer needs a reader.” (Bread for the Journey, June 25th)

Thanks for joining me on this journey.  I appreciate comments, so feel free to add yours below.

Shalom, Dottie

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