Called to be a writer?


#1

I was wondering if anyone else has felt called to become a writer.

I think that God was calling me to be a writer for years, but I wasn’t really listening because I was full of self doubt and lacked confidence. My parents grew up in poverty during the depression. I was really good at English and writing when I was a kid, but my parents discouraged me because in their minds, only wealthy people could afford to do something so impractical!

I even feel like God has been bugging me about it. LOL. Even though I’ve had some success with magazines, poetry and writing contests, I’ve found it hard to be really focused and consistent with writing. I have a couple of novels that I feel like God has been wanting me to finish revising. I guess I’ve been scared of failing.

I was hoping to find Catholic books about writing, but so far I’ve only found one, “Echoing Silence: Thomas Merton on the Vocation of Writing.”


#2

Hi Goldberry.

I’m also trying to become a professional writer (as are about a billion other hopefuls on the planet). My best advice: write and don’t stop writing, and be prepared to write a ***lot ***- a large part of it for the wastepaper basket. You need to write because you enjoy the worlds and characters you create and you don’t mind the effort spent in creating them.

Then get your work critiqued by people who are intelligent, objective and won’t spare you. We all have blind spots as writers and it is only others who can see them and point them out.

Do this and you will eventually learn to write well, especially if you already have an aptitude for English. Getting published will then naturally follow. Spend time researching all likely literary agents and (smaller) publishing houses who accept submissions. They must deal with the genre you write - read extracts from the authors they have already published to get a feel for what interests them. But never, ever write anything or in any style that does not personally interest you. Write what you like, not what you think you should.

And that’s it. Aluta continuata!


#3

As a child, I remember my grandfather telling me that I would be a writer. Eventually, I worked as a writer/editor in various jobs.

I consider that published letters to the editor was often the most important writing of my life. Usually, a different approach or twist was the key to publication of letters with a Faith message. A writer’s skill in a bulletin blurb can build up our Catholic Church. Doing publicity for a parish event gets people to church. :wink:

When you are called to be a book writer, begin with one page. Or start in the middle. Take advantage of when your “muse” is working. When you have a writer’s block, volunteer in a Food Pantry. I was fortunate to be in a writer’s class. The teacher’s advice was to read a page of the dictionary each day and when you start to write, throw away the first page.

Acknowledge the Holy Spirit in your vocation to be a writer. Acknowledging the Holy Spirit when you are writing a novel can lead to some funny thoughts. Enjoy them.

Is there really failure when you are responding to a call from God? Personally, I would consider that whatever you do, you are praising God. Even when you are doing a murder mystery, you can stick in a reference to someone who loved the victim or someone who benefited from the victim. Readers need to know that love exists in our terrifying world.

It is true that an author can learn from writing.

I loved being a journalist because I am intensely curious… Maybe being curious about what your characters are doing will help you to stay focused.:slight_smile:

I like Harry Potter because he is Harry Potter. :thumbsup:


#4

Oh, if we could only get ourselves and our doubts out of the Holy Ghost’s way!

Just do it! Even if it’s sitting down to the comp and typing “Do dah do dah do dah” doing so will get the body into that writing mode.

This should be preceded, of course, by you arriving at your workstation, praying “Here I am, Lord, I come to do your will.”

While grieving the loss of our son, and working with his estate matters (which is about to lead to another book!), I started going through the photos and pix in our Pictures file, and then went to the same for one of my works. Although I pray for the repose of my son’s soul, I am also freed, in a way, to use the time I spent with him for writing.

Books will often come in fragments. Once there are enough fragments, then you can start to organize them.

Write the other chapters first, then write the first chapter, then rewrite the first sentence to sum up the book. Writer’s Digest has suggested that beginning authors start with an established genre.

May St. Francis de Sales, patron of writers, intercede for you.


#5

I went to a writers workshop. The presenter made his living as an author. He said people always ask him for advice on how to get into the business. He asks to see some of their work. The answer is invariably, “Well…I…uh…haven’t actually…uh…written anything yet.” :rolleyes:


#6

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.