Thursday, November 17, 2016

It's Okay to Take Time to Flex Your Writing Wings Before You Fly

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

A lot of newer writers I meet find themselves overwhelmed with the myriad of opportunities in the field of writing. They struggle, trying to decide between writing articles, devotions, fiction, non-fiction, etc. Writing is a big field, and if you didn’t study some aspect of it in college, the choices can be daunting.

My suggestion—take a deep breath—you don’t have to start out with a specialty. As a matter of fact, until you’ve tried several different types of projects, you probably shouldn’t limit yourself too much. Even those of us with formal training find ourselves morphing into a different kind of writer than we envisioned at the start of our career.

Give yourself time to flex your wings. Try out different things. Write for the web, for print—even try your hand at a short story or flash fiction. Not only will variety help you determine the kind of writing you love, it will improve your ability overall. 

Tips to Help You Flex Your Wings
  • Look for a writers group in your area. There may or may not be one, but if there is, it will help immensely. It gives you perspective when you see what others are doing and you’re able to ask questions.
  • Take a look at what you like to read. What touches you? What do you find yourself saying, “If I could write anything, I’d write this?” The answer may surprise you and lead you down a different writing path.
  • Determine what you want to accomplish with your writing. Is it to touch people, glorify God, earn a little extra money? The answer may not be all one thing, but you should have one that stands out from the others.
These tips will help make your choices easier. They will also help you determine where to go for further training. For example, I might recommend one book for a writer who wants to write devotions and a completely different one for someone who is interested in freelancing as a career.

The only problem with trying a lot of different things comes if you’re not completing anything. 

It’s important to follow through with your projects. Don’t worry if you’re getting a lot of small projects finished while you’re working on a big one. 

As long as you’re making forward progress on the big one, you’re doing okay.
Bottom Line 
Don’t be afraid of all the choices—embrace them! And don't be afraid to try more than one project at a time. Trust me, it can be done.

I’d love to hear from you. What kind of writing do you like to do? How did you discover it?

Don’t forget to join the conversation!



  1. Hello Eddie, I love your post. I like the part you said that you have to look at what you like to read and you can then practice and write that sort of writing. I will try this =)

    1. Shuko, I'm glad this post was helpful! Blessings, E

  2. Love the suggestions, Edie! New writers face so many challenges these days. I'm bookmarking this post for anyone who's just starting out. Thanks!

  3. Hi Edie! Thanks for forming unto words what I have been feeling. This writing thing is definitely daunting at times. I have written creative nonfiction and devotions for the last 5 years and have been feeling an increasing urge to change...but not completely if that makes sense. I love fiction, the power of a story is often what inspires me to takes those steps. I have written a few short stories and started a about daunting! Most recently I have been working on a devotional companion to a coloring book that I published. It has been quite a journey, and I have found that as long as I keep God in the middle, it is all immensely satisfying. Thanks for confirming that it is okay to explore!

    1. Lisa, wise words! Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Blessings, E

  4. One thing I've struggled with is comparison. Believing that writing devotions or articles or blog posts is less valid or significant than an entire book. Maybe because it's not as big a project so it means less. I'm working on changing this mindset.

    1. Ellen, truthfully, small pieces almost always reach a much larger audience than a book does. For example, a magazine article or online devotion could easily reach 40,000 - 50,000. A book is considered to do well if it sells to 8,000 people. Beyond that, our part is obedience. It's God who is responsible for the delivery. Blessings, E

  5. I needed "Determine What You Want to Accomplish". All the voices can he distracting. I was even told recently that I couldn't do what I wanted to do.

    1. Jennifer, the voice can be so distracting! And there are so many people out there who are willing to stomp on our dreams and goals. Stay true to your path! Blessings, E

  6. One of my writer friend told me once year ago that s/he only thought of me as a poet. Needles, to say, I've changed that limiting mindset by not limiting my own creative abilities! I've written an ebook, a women's empowerment book, several articles for, have three blogs on three amazing topics,write short story fiction & nonfiction and I'm a recent Huffpost contributor.
    I love this piece, Edie, it's sooo needed for all the newbies who become overwhelmed by naysayers and the soldiers of their own creativity. Just write, something great will emerge.