Friday, May 20, 2022

Advice for Writers—Eat Your Writing Peas!

by Crystal Bowman

Like many children, I was a picky eater and I especially hated peas. My mother told me to eat my peas because they were good for me. The only way I could tolerate them was to push them into a roll and eat the roll. 

At a recent writers’ conference I was meeting one-on-one with an aspiring young writer. As I gave her advice based on my years of experience, I realized that many of my words began with the letter P. She noticed it too and we laughed. As we ended our meeting, I said, “Eat your peas!”

Peas for Writers

Prepare: If you believe God has called you to write, then you need to prepare for that calling. Any career, hobby, or calling takes preparation. Would you go scuba diving without taking a few lessons? Would you apply for a teaching job without first getting a degree? Would you go out on the mission field without being trained? The answer is obvious and the same is true for writing.

Proposal: If you want to get the attention of a traditional publisher, then you need to nail your proposal. They are hard to write and time consuming, but your proposal is what will eventually lead to a contract, or not. There are many dos and don’ts when it comes to proposals, so learn how to write one by reading a book or taking a course. Before you submit a proposal, have it professionally edited. 

Persistence/Perseverance: The publishing world is brutal and only the strong survive. Having both persistence and perseverance (like two peas in a pod) is the key to survival. Keep learning and growing. Accept constructive criticism and seek guidance from coaches and mentors. Attend writers conferences where you will learn tons. Giving up is easy. Persistence and perseverance are not. 

Patience: Nothing is fast in the publishing world. It may take months or years before you get a response to a submission. And even if you get a positive response, it may take more months or years to finally get a contract. Patience is needed if you want to be a writer. But while you are waiting, you can keep writing and learning. 

Prayer: The most important P word is prayer. Writing for publication is scary. No matter what you write, you are sharing your words with the world. Ask God to give you wisdom and guidance. Ask Him to give you words that will honor Him. Ask Him to fill you with the Holy Spirit so your words will reach hearts and souls for Jesus. Ask God to bless your writing and trust Him with the results. What you write may reach hundreds, thousands, or millions. That part is not up to you, that’s in God hands. 

As you continue to write and seek God’s will, remember to eat your writing peas. They are good for you! 


Crystal Bowman is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than 100 books for children and four nonfiction books for women. She also writes lyrics for children’s piano music and is a monthly contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine. She loves going to schools to teach kids about poetry. She also speaks at MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) groups and teaches workshops at writers’ conferences. When she is not writing or speaking, she enjoys going for walks, working out at the gym, and eating ice cream. She and her husband live in Michigan and have seven huggable grandkids.