Being a part of the writing and publishing world is a strange thing. It's like the old saying goes, "In order to get in you have to know somebody but in order to know somebody, you have to get in."
I'm not saying that's true 100% of the time, but pretty much so. For me, I "knew" someone at my church who'd heard of CLASS, which led to meeting Marita and Florence Littauer. This, in turn, led to my going to CLASS Reunion, which is a part of CBA's International convention, held each July.
When I walked in on that vast floor of endless dreams, though, I knew basically no one. It took preparation and a whole lot of nerve to get myself out there and to introduce myself to editors who might hate my work.
Or, they could love it.
One or two of them actually did...and a career was born.
Somehow in the midst of all of this I was asked to join the faculty of a writer's conference. Pretty funny, actually. I had never been to a writer's conference and now, here I was, on staff. Being there taught me something: writers REALLY SHOULD go to writer's conferences, not only for what you learn, but for who you get to know.
There's that "who you know" thing again.
I also joined Writers Digest book club and began to devour anything and everything I could get my hands on that had anything and everything to do with writing. One thing I know for sure, I'll never stop learning, nor do I want to. Writers should never, ever stop learning.
I also became a part of a writer's critique group. The focus of this group is not to tear anyone down or to pat anyone on the back for the sake of praise. The point is to build solid writers for God's kingdom. When the group began to falter, I took the bull by the horns and reshaped it. We went from approximately four in attendence to forty. Many of us are award-winning and published. We work hard. We're committed. We attend the monthly meetings.
I set time every day for writing. I'm not going to lie to you and tell you I actually sit down and write during that time, but the time is set aside. Sometimes I may write absolute fluff, which will at some point be scratched. Other times I write pure genius and wonder "who wrote that? It's brillant!"
I have discovered that this is pretty much the feelings of every writer.
Another thing I've discovered is that some people have been called to write books and others have been called to write articles. Still a few others have been called to write Sunday School take home papers. There are even those who will write devotions for websites or to the buddies in their email address book. None of those is more important than any other. If you are a writer, and you write, you're doing what you've been called to do, no matter in what capacity.
So to recap: Study. Read. Go to conferences. Get to know some folks. Join some groups.
Above all, write.
Blessings in Abundance, Blessings all Around!
Eva Marie Everson