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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Writing (01/11/07)

By Amy Nicholson


Why did I stop? I never should have stopped.

I used to write all the time. In school I would write the necessary papers for classes, but I would also write a multitude of letters to my boyfriends. They were pretty good letters, too. They would naturally flow and come to a fitting conclusion at the end.

In high school, my English teacher was very encouraging, and when I was applying to colleges, I decided to major in Creative Writing.

I can remember sitting in an interview with my parents and a college advisor at an exciting, well-known college. The interviewer asked me if I wrote poetry or prose. I froze. “I am way out of my league!” I thought. “I can’t do this.” I chose another major—Education.

I went on with my life. I was a school teacher for a while. I would write a bit here and there. I always received positive feedback on my writing, but I didn’t actively pursue a writing career. That is, until now.

I have my own children, and I home-school them. My husband works very hard for our family. I would like to help out with paying the bills, but I need a job I can do at home. I also need to be using my gifts. Having so often received positive feedback on my writing, I am convinced that writing is one of my gifts.

Getting motivated to write is occasionally an issue. I need to work from home, but home is full of distractions. Setting aside a physical spot to write is one challenge, but setting aside mental time to write is a whole other story. I have to be able to transition from housework and caring for the children to brainstorming or outlining. I need someone to say, “Come on! Get in there! You can do it!” Fortunately, I have found a place to get motivated.

A few months back I discovered FaithWriters. The website has everything an aspiring writer could need. Every week on the site there is a writer’s challenge. A topic is introduced and members are invited to write a page or so on the topic and enter their work in the contest. There are several benefits to entering the challenge.

First of all, it teaches me discipline. I am gaining experience in keeping a deadline, writing on a topic, and staying within a purposed word count. Secondly, I receive feedback on my work from other writers. This has helped me tremendously.

Diving back into the writing world, I was unsure of myself. I joined the on-line group and submitted an entry for the challenge. I was immediately affirmed! Members gave me positive feedback on my work. What a blessing! “I can do this,” I thought. Even the reviews that aren’t so stellar are blessings because at least my work is being read. Also, the constructive criticism is helping me improve my craft.

Now I am writing all the time. The important thing to me is that I constantly exercise my writing muscles. In addition to the challenge, I’m submitting articles to magazines, entering contests, writing song lyrics, and screenwriting. Why not give them all a try?

Some people might not agree with my approach. They might suggest choosing one genre or market and solely working in that one area. That’s a good idea, too. The way I look at it, though, is: there are people out there who need writers. There are musicians who need lyricists. There are authors aspiring to turn their novels into screenplays. There are tons and tons of magazines that need to be filled with articles on a regular basis. The world needs writers.

Sometimes I think I never should have stopped writing because if I had at least kept a journal since I learned to write, I would have a mountain of material to use! I would have had so much practice. I would be such an awesome writer by now. That is not what happened, though.

I must start from here. I must start writing now. My motivations are a bit different than they were at that college interview. I’m not aspiring towards fine grades or a diploma. Love has inspired me to use my gift of writing to help support my family, the husband and children that I didn’t have at that interview. When love is what drives a person, the possibilities are endless!

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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This article has been read 671 times
Member Comments
Member Date
darlene hight01/18/07
Thanks for the testimony. It is encouraging to hear another writer's story and the path that God is leading them on. Keep it up!
Marilyn Schnepp 01/20/07
You mentioned you learn from critiques; so I would suggest, instead of starting paragraph with so many I's...find another way to start them. The competition out there is fierce. Editors of top magazines get thousands of manuscripts a week...so it's discouraging, but keep at it.
Edy T Johnson 01/20/07
One of the benefits of writing as a homemaker, I find, is being able to "practice" while doing all those mindless household chores. By the time I get to the computer, sometimes I'm all ready for the final draft!

I think this is a very encouraging piece of writing. I hope you can market it where others will get to see it and, as you did, find that new chance to experience "what might have been," after all!
Jen Davis01/21/07
Like you, I put off writing for many years, but it is not too late to begin again. So keep writing, reading and learning about the craft and make up for the lost time. I’m sure you can do it too!