Wednesday, September 29, 2021

10 Traits of a Well-equipped Writer


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

When each of us chooses to label ourselves as a writer, we are embarking on a journey that’s not for the faint of heart. To find joy—and yes, even a little success—we need to make sure we’re well-equipped for what lies before us. 

I know many of you who read this blog, and I have to confess I’m thinking of you specifically as I write this. Yes, these are things I’ve tried to cultivate in my writing life—but they’re also things I SEE in your lives. 

You are an inspiration to me, to each other and to those around you.

So today I’m sharing what I’ve learned—and what I know will make your journey easier. Developing these characteristics will help you find more joy as you climb to the places God has for you. 

10 Traits of Well-equipped Writers

1. You know Who’s really in charge. Those of us who are believers who write must remind ourselves that while we can make plans, it is God Who directs our paths. So often through the years, what I’ve thought was a set-back was actually a short cut to the place I needed to be.

2. You learn to adapt to change. I’ve heard it said more times than I can count that the only constant in the publishing world is change. The ability to adapt when life throws a curve ball is what sets well-equipped writers apart from the rest.

3. You focus on solutions, instead of problems. Writers are creatives. We concoct stories out of thin air and offer commentary on the world that others haven’t considered before. But often times when challenges arise, we forget to look for answers. Instead we focus on what’s gone wrong. 

4. You are aware of your own strengths and weaknesses. A well-equipped writer knows what she’s good at and what she needs to work on. You know what you need to get where you want to be.

5. You put rejection in its place quickly. Rejection is part of this business. It hurts, and often times—because publishing is subjective—it’s unfair. To keep going, you’ve learned how to take a little bit of time to rant, and then move beyond the hurt.

6. You learn from mistakes. Not just your own mistakes, but you’re wise enough to learn from those that others make. Truthfully I’ve learned way more from what I’ve done than what I’ve done right. 

7. You create a community of people to encourage, support and help you. Putting words on paper—or on a screen—can be a lonely process. The well-equipped writer has surrounded himself with others who are on the same path and together they are stronger.

8. You know how to stay focused when the pressure is on. Instead of throwing in the towel, you double down and do what has to be done. I’ve watched many of you finish books through illness, family issues and loss. You’ve lost contracts, had publishers go out of business, and yet you persevere. 

9. You remain connected to the ultimate Creator. You make the time to meet regularly with God. Because of that, your words reflect His light. They illuminate a world that is dark and is in desperate need of hope. 

10. You know there is no competition. The Christian writing world is the most generous community I’ve ever imagined being part of. To the rest of the world, it looks like we’re training our competition. But the truth is, there’s more than enough work to go around. We are stronger when we help each other along the path.

These are the things that I’ve discovered make the writing journey joyful and a path I want to explore for the rest of my life. I’d love to know what you’d add to the list!

Don’t forget to join the conversation!
Blessings,
Edie

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Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. No matter whether she’s talking to writers, entrepreneurs, or readers, her first advice is always “Find your voice, live your story.” As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives. Connect with her on her WEBSITE, through FACEBOOK, TWITTER and on INSTAGRAM.


13 comments:

  1. “So often through the years, what I’ve thought was a set-back was actually a short cut to the place I needed to be.”

    This line alone was worth the price of admission. Thank you for the encouragement today. Write on!

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  2. The Christian publishing community differs from the world in that we do plant seeds into each other not only in writing but in life situations as well. This helps us all grow as we obey the Lord to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. Thank you, Edie!

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    1. Barbara, so well put! Thank you for sharing, Blessings, E

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  3. Thanks for touching on all these points - so helpful to me! I think you've mentioned in your blog this morning my four "P's" I write with - Patience, Persistence, People's Help, and Prayers! I've learned a great deal from you again. Thanks you for sharing.

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    1. Diane, I love that "the four 'P's'"! Thank you for sharing, Blessings, E

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  4. Edie, I love these 10 traits you have so beautifully expressed, and #10 is my favorite! We can help each other and cheer for each other when they achieve success because we know how hard it is! Thanks for these great reminders.

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    1. Crystal, you're so right! the encouragement we receive from each other is so vital! Blessings, E

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  5. Edie, This is a wonderful list. I tried to come up with something to add, but I think you covered it all! I am especially grateful to be a part of the Christian writing community where we pour into each other's craft and everyone is blessed.

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    1. Kay, thank you for your encouragement and be part of this community! Blessings, E

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  6. "The Christian writing world is the most generous community I’ve ever imagined being part of." I recognized this IMMEDIATELY when I attended my first ACFW conference in 2010. Having mainly attended secular library conferences, I'd never been to a large conference that started a session with prayer, and it was a life-changer! Thank you for the list!!

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    1. Regina, I’m so glad you were encouraged! Blessings, E

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  7. "We make plans, but it is God Who directs our path." That's the way it should be because if we were not allowing God to direct our path, all that we try to do would be of no avail.
    Thanks for this great list!

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