The Evolution of a Writer

It’s been a little over three years since I re-entered the writing world.  The first year, I simply studied — reading books and magazine articles and blogs about the writing craft and what’s been happening in the writing world, as well as attending as many affordable, one-day writers’ conferences I could, and I joined a local writers’ group that meets once a month and I have been attending faithfully, for the most part, for these three plus years.

The second year, I began to write again, but I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be writing.  I couldn’t decide on a genre.  I prayed for God to reveal his will for my writing.  Then, I got an idea and I started writing, but I wasn’t excited about it.  However, I wrote a bit, received some critiques, and then spoke with a writer and marketer at a conference, who offered me some great ideas/advice.  That gave me some excitement.  Unfortunately, the excitement was fleeting, and then I thought I’d finish the story and enter it into a contest.  Long story short, due to technical difficulties, I missed the contest deadline.  Being frustrated about missing the deadline and really just feeling “done” with the story, I let it sit for a month before picking it up and doing a read-through.  Ugh!  So glad I missed that deadline!  The ending is rushed.  The ending isn’t at all what I wanted it to be, and my timeline is a mess!  Some friends have/are read/reading it and offering me feedback, which I will read through carefully and make notes of the things they suggest that I think should be changed.  I will eventually edit, rework, and revise this story to create a, hopefully, better-than-good story.  I may even publish it someday.

However, I have evolved!  What do I mean by that? you may ask.  Well, I have finally found my genre — historical romantic fiction!  I’ve had a story brewing in my brain, even while working on the above-mentioned story, and I recently sat down to begin working on it.  What I first knew I must do, was to research the time period and the place.  I researched to choose appropriate names for my main characters, and as my plot line began to form in my brain, I researched a few other important details.  What do you think I found, in addition to what I was looking for, in all of this researching?  More great circumstances to add to my plot line!  I have completely fallen in love with this genre!

I know what you’re thinking, “So does this mean you’re not a pantser anymore?”  Well, let me just say, “I’m not a plotter, but I’m not a pantser either.”  I now fall somewhere in between, but I have found that while researching and building my plot line, then by creating my characters and their backstories, I have found a place that will allow me to plan enough for historical romantic fiction that gives me the historical facts I need but doesn’t require so much time and drudgery that it kills my creativity and my desire to write the story.  As a matter of fact, it has simply fueled my excitement and eagerness to write the story, and I am sure with the bit of research and planning I put in before beginning the actual story, I will write a much better first draft than the last one.

How about you?  How long have you been writing and how has what you have learned helped you to evolve into a better writer?  I’d love for you to leave a comment and share your story.

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4 thoughts on “The Evolution of a Writer

  1. How have I evolved as a writer? I’m still new at writing and have to force myself to call myself a writer and a poet. I am still evolving. But here is my story in brief:
    I decided to take a creative writing class in high school because I loved the written word. Some comments during that time lead me to believe that I couldn’t write. With the exception of journaling and writing a birthday poem to my children each year I didn’t write. Fast forward to about three years ago. I was reading aloud from my journal to a counselor I was seeing. She told me that I had a gift with words and encouraged me to write. I was at a loss as to what to write. After mulling it over, I decided to write what was on my heart which happened to come out in poetic form. I journaled it for awhile and then decided to stretch myself and start a blog in order to share my writing with an audience. In order to better my form, I started reading a lot poetry anthologies, poetry blogs, and poems, poems, poems where ever I could find them. Six months ago (give or take a few), I met up with some writer friends who’ve been a huge blessing and encouragement to me. I’m still growing, stretching and learning.

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    • SueM, thank you for sharing your story as a writer here. I love to have my blog readers share here. I’m glad that someone encouraged you to write again and that you have stepped out of your comfort zone and made yourself vulnerable by sharing your writing on a blog. Good for you! Also, happy that you have a group of writer friends who bless and encourage you. We, as writers, all need other writer friends who will bless and encourage us along our writing journeys.

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  2. I really enjoyed reading this, Kelly. There’s something comforting about gaining insight into a fellow writers’s journey. It’s wonderful that you found your genre. I remember when I found mine, thinking for so long that it was a literary fiction when it turned out to be young adult fiction. I can’t imagine loving writing anything else more.

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