Friday, January 24, 2014

Life Lessons—What Writing has Taught Me about Myself & about Life

by Edie Melson

Following my heart to become a writer has taught me a lot. I still remember the first time I got brave enough to call myself a writer, and the excitement the first time I sold an article.

It wasn’t all rainbows and roses though. I remember the excitement of having my first manuscript taken to committee—and the devastation when the publisher ultimately rejected it.

I wouldn’t have traded a single minute of my experience. Even that rejection was good because truthfully, neither my manuscript or me was ready for publication.

So today I’d like to share what writing has taught me about myself & life.
  • Talent without persistence is worthless. So much of what we need to know to be successful, no matter what our goals, can be learned.
  • I’m stronger than I thought. If I had known when I started, the hard work and emotional toll getting to this point would take. I would have quite because I would never have dreamed I could do it.
  • Sometimes, ignorance really is bliss. When I first started down this road, I thought I knew everything I needed for writing success. I’m glad now that I didn’t know what was needed at the beginning. It would have been too overwhelming.
  • Quitting is the only path to failure. I’ve found writing success, but a lot of it has come simply because I refused to give up.
  • God is the One who directs my path. I can (and will continue) to make plans—but I stay flexible. I would never have even dreamed of the opportunities God has given me.

  • There’s a big difference between goals and dreams. They both have their place in the writer’s life, but a goal is something who’s outcome I can influence. A dream is something I wish would happen. It’s the difference between having the goal of getting a book published or having a best seller. I can achieve the first by hard work, but the second is ultimately up to God.

  • Detours aren’t the same thing as roadblocks. My path to publication has zigged and zagged so many times it looks like the path Mother Goose’s Crooked Old Man left behind. But more frequently than not, those detours ended up getting me further ahead, faster.
  • Generosity will always get you farther than selfishness. I have never once regretted putting someone else before me. I’d even go so far as to say that I’ve build my career (or at least my platform) by promoting others.
  • My reputation is worth solid gold, but it’s not something I can buy. I can only achieve it and keep it by guarding it. I always try to communicate honestly and above all, keep my word.
  • The joy is in the journey. The people I’ve met, the things I’ve gotten to experience have been the high points, not the achievements.
  • Publication isn’t the sole definition of writing success. Touching someone’s life through the words I pen, whether it’s on a blog or a book or an article, is way more important than a book contract.

These are just a few of the things I’ve learned while on this writing journey. What about you? Has writing taught you anything important about yourself and/or about life? Share your thoughts below.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!


The joy is in the journey – @EdieMelson shareslessons learned from the writers life. (Click to Tweet)


  1. The last one resonates with me. Touching someone else's life IS more significant than publication. It's easy to forget that and just focus on publication. Thanks for the reminder, Edie.

    1. Ellen, it truly is! thanks for stopping by, Blessings, E

  2. I love the goals and dreams thought. So true!

    1. Jennifer, that was a real eye-opener for me. Thanks for dropping by, Blessings, E

  3. Great article. It helped me to realign my compass so it's pointing true north!!!

  4. Thanks for the encouragement! Blessings, E

  5. Always encouraging, I really identified with the last point. Writing an inspirational blog doesn't pay the bills, but the hearts that are touched by my writing and somehow helped is a reward I can never tally. And the reminder that reputation trumps all, well, that is truth. Many great reminders and encouragement here - thank you!

    1. Colleen, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! Blessings, E

  6. Thanks, Edie. You always inspire me to keep working. I haven't made a penny from my writing yet, but I have earned piles of gold each time someone tells me my story blessed them, encouraged them or validated them. I think the most important thing I have learned from my writing is that whatever talent, desire, and ability the Lord gave me is enough--if I do the work.

  7. Wow! Lots of good gems in that list!!!

  8. "I make goals and plans but I stay flexible." ... I can't tell you how hard that one is for me. He is trying to break me of my rigidness right now and I quite hate it. haha....But you are right. It is good. I have to keep in mind that in order for Him to move, I have to give Him room to do it, and through Him is where our true fulfillment comes. Thanks for for such a great post!