The Writing Life: You want to be a writer? Why?


Old type writer on a dark wooden table
Credit: Patrick Fore in Unsplash.com

You Want to be a Writer? Why?

by Darrell Case


For several years, I taught a course on pastoring at a local prison. The first question I asked the class of eager students was why. Why would you want to be a pastor? Why would you want to be on call 24/7? To give up time with your family or other activities? Some believe erroneously a pastor only preaches on Sunday; therefore, the rest of the week is leisure time.


Nothing could be further from the truth. A pastor studies, prays, resolves conflicts, and is involved in every aspect of the church. For example, if a member of the church is in an accident or becomes ill enough to go to the hospital at 2 or 3 AM, the pastor will go there. If they are scheduled for surgery at 6 in the morning, they expect their pastor to be there. Consequently, pastoring is a calling, not an occupation.


Likewise, the same is true with being a Christian author or writer. According to Bowker, there are 2,700 books published each day or approximately 1,000,000 annually. An author has a one in a million chance of their book rising above the crowd. With many books on the market and more being added daily, it very difficult to make your voice heard. So why in the world would you want to write a book? Why spend hours, days, months and sometimes years writing a novel? There has to be something beyond the joy of seeing your name in print or your book on store shelves.


Why would you want to be a writer?


Because it is the most wonderful profession on earth. You, my friend, get to generate people who live in an unseen world. You share their joys, their sorrows. You see them grow and develop into individuals who speak, love, hate, work, play, get married, and have children.


From a little spark in your mind, they come into being. Even the minor characters have something important to say. They move the story forward. The main characters must change by the end of the book. The reason the villain is the villain is significant in the book. Why is he or she like they are? Did something happen in their childhood that shaped them? Later in life?


Soon you are in a world of your own making. The thread that began on the first page must run to the last. The beginning must have a hook that keeps the reader turning pages until they finish the book. Just like a good meal, it must satisfy the reader with the story and its conclusion. The book must leave a good taste in their mouth and have them eager to pick up another book by the same author.


So, you want to be a writer? Get ready for a very rocky road. One filled with heartaches sorrows and disappointments. Get ready for rejections and possibly ridicule. Get ready for hard work with little or no reward.


Get ready for excitement, which grows daily. Get ready to lose yourself in a world of your own making. Get ready to meet characters who will change your life forever. Get ready for the greatest calling in the world.


So, you want to be a writer? Good for you.



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