Friday, January 29, 2016

13 Truths About Being a Writer

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

13 Truths about being a writer.
Choosing to stand up and be identified as a writer can be a scary thing. The road is rarely a straight path to publication. These are some things that I hope will help you stay the course as you continue on your own writing journey

13 Truths About Being a Writer

1. It’s an eternal struggle between you and the blank page. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get a whole lot easier. The doubts still crowd your mind, and fear still whispers in your ear no matter how long you’re in this business.

2. Talent without persistence is worthless. So much of what we need to know to be successful, no matter what our goals, can be learned.

3. You’re stronger than you think. 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.

You can't plot a course always expecting to be
the exception to the rule.
4. You can’t plot a course always expecting to be the exception to the rule. Things generally happen in a certain way, over a certain time-frame. As believers we know that God can step in at any time and turn things upside down. But expecting that to always happen just isn’t reasonable. We need to do the work and celebrate when the exceptions do occur.

5. 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.

6. God is the One who directs my path—and yours. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. Change is the industry standard in publishing. It’s not possible to base your path on what has gone before. Technology is moving too fast. We either embrace the challenge or we fall by the wayside.

10. 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.

Your reputation is worth solid gold.
11. Your 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.

12. 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.

13. 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 wish I’d known when I started. I think my expectations would have been more realistic and the heartbreak a little less frequent. Although it could be that someone did, and I just wasn’t paying attention. 

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!

13 Truths About Being a Writer - via @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Detours aren’t the same thing as roadblocks—in the #writing journey—or in life @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)


  1. Edie, As always, Thank you! I love #10. That is my goal through the strength of the Holy Spirit. Writing has been a source of healing for me. I pour my pain onto paper and God pours His healing into my heart. It is a beautiful process.

    1. #8 is especially important to remember. Recognizing which circumstances are which (whether something is a roadblock or a detour) and therefore how to respond, is the complicated part

  2. Wonderful post, Edie. Your words tell, and your life shows. We all need #6 framed and hanging in view. #3 & #8 are both intricately connected and dragons to be slayed on any journey - writing, education, athletics, marriage, etc. - anything worth having. Even for the most Godly and talented. As one in the early twists and turns of a new road in my life, I truly appreciate the spiritual and mortal wisdom in this particular post.

    1. Jay, this list came easy because they're all hard lessons I've learned and am continuing to learn! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Blessings, E

  3. I needed number 7 Edie!! Thank you. God spoke through your print today. Thank you for being faithful to the call.

  4. I'm just getting started and it isn't looking at all how I dreamed.

    1. Jennifer, it never does. But I can assure you of one thing - it's always bigger and better than you imagine! Blessings, E

  5. Thanks so much, Edie, as always, for sharing your wisdom and experience! The one thing God has taught me more than anything is that when I put all I have in His hands, I will never be disappointed with the results (not because they are always quite what I hoped, but because I know they are what He planned.) Hugs and hope you're feeling better!

  6. This is great Edie. As one who has watched you for many years as you walked the crooked path and watched God do amazing things your life, I have learned so much from you! The joy IS in the journey (#12) and that's exactly what it is--a journey, not a destination! Thank you for teaching me, encouraging me, cheering for me, and mentoring me on my journey. And I'm sure there are so many writers who could say the same thing! You are appreciated and loved!

    1. Beth, I've loved sharing this journey with you! Blessings, E

  7. This is a great list of things to remember! As always, I so appreciate your wisdom.

  8. Great post Eddie, I agree with all of the 13 truths of being a writer. I think my favourite is number 5-quitting is the only path to failure, because to be a great writer, one mustn't give up, (just like you said).

    Writing has taught me that I can achieve anything, because I just completed a Creative writing degree in July 2016. There were times I wanted to give up, because I had writing blocks, but I kept writing until 4am sometimes.

    For my final dissertation, I wrote a script about me, it was one of the most emotional, adventurous piece of work I have ever written. When I look back, I wonder how I did it and I am so proud of myself that is why I keep writing. Now, I have a blog of my own called
    Check it out and subscribe too if you love it. Thanks :)