Whenever a hopeful scribe approaches me, I’m also reminded of all the writers before me who held my hand when I was new to freelancing. I owe a big thanks to Rebecca, a friend and a colleague, who gave me a dream job. She hired me on as an editor of a parenting publication before I even was a parent. (And, oh how I thought I was going to be so prepared for motherhood….Turns out, that reading and writing about how to get your child to take a nap – or poop – is very different than actually doing it.)
In second grade, there was Mrs. Isaacs who entered a silly, little story I wrote about a plaque detective (see “About Me” section) into a contest and gave me the gift of my first byline. (To the best of my knowledge, her husband was not a dentist). I was hooked after that. Then there was Mrs. Guy and Mrs. Wilhoite in high school who both always encouraged my writing and only pulled out that soul-crushing red pen when absolutely necessary. In college, Dr. Hollifield was my mentor. I remember her telling me, “Whatever you decide to do with your life, don’t forget to write about it.” What I’ve most recently done with my life is to become a wife and a mom and Dr. Hollifield, I haven’t forgotten to write about it. In fact, my kids and motherhood provide me with an endless supply of ideas.
Anywho…In order to answer some of the questions I’m most often asked by aspiring writers, I’ve decided to start occasionally including posts devoted to the craft and business of writing. I’d also love to hear any questions you might have. Email me at kmwicker[at]gmail dot com if there’s something you want to know. If I don’t have the answer, I’ll try to find someone, or a website, book, etc. who/that does. (For those of you who could care less about writing, don’t worry. I’ll still mostly be rambling on about motherhood, faith, and other random stuff.)
#1 This goes without saying, but I’m, by no means, an expert. I’ve read many books on the subject of writing. I have my degree in journalism. I belonged to a fiction writing club that included published authors and have attended myriad writing workshops. I’ve worked with many different editors. I’ve written everything from press releases to an article on how to raise vegetarian kids. But none of that makes me an expert. I’m just someone who really, really wanted to write and just did it, even when all I had to show for it was lots of drafts, queries, and a growing stash of rejection letters. If you have any talent at all as well as a (strong!) desire to write and get published, you can and will do it. In a way, finding your writing niche is kind of like parenting. You can read all the books in the world about how to “do it,” but the bottom line is, you’ve got to trust your parenting instincts and love your child for whom she is. At the end of the day, you’re the only expert your kids need and you sort of just have to learn as you go. Same is true with writing. You can learn everything you need to on how to write, but you’ll really only learn how to do it and how to get it published by trying and putting yourself out there.
Now stay tuned…I’ll be posting my first writing “article” later this week. Until then, what are you waiting for? Start writing!