Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Are You Passionate About Your Writing? - Writing Workshop Series

Are You Passionate About Your Writing?

As some of you may know, I don't only talk about writing, but I write. I love to write. I do it all the time, some for publishing and some simply because I can. A few months ago I received a shock. The publisher of my first two books closed without any warning. Gone was my book, my royalties and all that I had invested. I was devastated to say the least. 

In the midst of my tears I remember something that God had shown me some time ago, in fact it had to be at least 10 years or so. He showed me Tri-Production (the name of this blog). He showed me that Tri-Production would be the company that handled my publishing, film making and creative endeavors, like my board game I created. However how many of us have grand dreams, but dismiss them as some fantasy that could never happen? That's exactly what I did, I dismissed it, sort of. Oh, I created the blog, but I never really knew what to do with it. I would write now and then, share my videos from the C.O.M.E. ministry, but that was as far as it went, until my publisher closed.

It was at that time that I realized I already had the answer to, "what am I going to do?" I am going to become even more passionate about what I was called to do and do it to the best of my ability. That day when I was reminded that I had the tools in my hand to accomplish my goal, I had a new passion, oh yeah, and a new fear.

 The new passion was a re-dedication to taking not only my writing more serious but the idea of publishing my work and the work of others. I had to begin to believe in myself, that was my fear. I wasn't sure, could I publish? Could I handle both ends; writing and publishing? Then I reminded myself, "I can do all things through Christ..." This effort was not going to be by my know-how but by using the wisdom of God to help me through. I began to seek help. I am working with some people that not only want to help me succeed, but are willing to invest in the vision God has on my life. How precious is that!

I can only image you reading this post and wondering what does any of this have to do with your passion for writing? I would say it has a lot to do with it, because we all face some obstacles that can stop us in our tracks and make us re-evaluate our decisions to be a writer. Maybe your distraction isn't a publisher leaving you, maybe it's not being able to find the motivation to write, or maybe it's the lack of funds, or the fear of can I really do this? Whatever the distraction may be, if we don't have a passion for what we do, writing will soon be a distant hobby or dream.

I am now preparing those two books I talked about to be republished. It took me some time to get my manuscript and information back, but I did. At first I simply tried to edit or reformat the file. However, I was having some difficulty doing that. Soon I realized I needed to re-type the entire manuscript. While that might seem like something bad, it wasn't. In the course of typing the manuscript I am learning some formatting tips that will help me create books that have a quality look. It is also giving me the opportunity to read my work. As I am reading it, I am discovering my desire growing with each page. I am falling in love with this book all over again. It has reminded me of why I write. It is not so I can have some fame or recognition, it is because I truly want to help and encourage others to learn to be their very best.

Part of being passionate about your writing, calls for you to be passionate about your words. I don't consider myself to be the best technical writer, I am more creative and colorful in my words, that's what a good friend tells me. She says I have "flowery words." Since I know this about myself I had to learn to be comfortable with others examining my work, dissecting it, questioning it and giving me the hard truth. That's called editing.

I have found this is an area that many are not comfortable with exploring. We hold our work dear to us, like our defenseless children. Therefore, who will allow someone to talk about, discuss or say anything negative about our children? Yet as dear as are work is, if we really cherish it, we need to have someone read our work. Otherwise, we may find our pages filled with words and thoughts that are lost on our readers. We don't want to make them have to read a sentence over 3 or 4 times because they didn't understand it. If they read it again, let it be because the thought was so inspiring that they wanted to impress it upon their memory.

If you are passionate about your writing, you will dedicate your time to doing it. Setting aside time to write; whether it's a book, poem, play or any other material, is necessary. If you have an idea but think your writing skills may be lacking, then take a basic course in English or Creative Writing to help you develop. I did my under Graduate, Graduate and now Doctoral courses online. That requires me to have to write all the time. This has really helped me learn how to develop my thoughts, present my information and stay on topic. It is so easy to go running from one idea to another, leaving your reader exhausted because they don't know where you are going. I remember a teacher in one of my classes said he didn't care what we thought, but what could we prove. That has always been something on my mind when I write.

I don't want to simply tell you what I think, I could be thinking wrongly. I want to research and find evidence either from other researchers or within the pages of the Bible on what I am speaking. If you are passionate about your work, you will make sure you check your facts. You want to be responsible because you understand words are powerful.

In closing, I want to encourage you from time to time to step back and think about why you are writing? What is your motivation? Is it because it looks like something fun to do and a way to make money or gain fame? Or is it because you believe you have a mission to accomplish, you have people that you can impact? If your goal for writing isn't steeped in a desire to make a difference; like giving someone some pleasure in a created world on the pages of your book, you may not continue the journey. Ignite your passion, dedicate yourself to what you have been called to do as it relates to your writing. And in the meantime, if you are looking for a publisher, keep your eye's open for Tri-Production's launch (expected in Mid-Summer, 2015).