“You’re a writer you know.” My friend announced this on our drive to an Inspire workshop.
“What makes you say that? I’ve painted murals for thirteen years. I’m not a writer.”
“You do writer’s things. Journal, jot notes, and tell stories in conversation.”
Our featured speaker grabbed my attention—God has already written your stories with your life’s events…Use a truth slant if you wish—change the details…record the stories He has given you! Memories flashed through my mind. The writer’s call roared, and I was stunned.
Afterward, God graciously equipped me with important writer’s tools. I joined Inspire Christian Writers and a critique group which encourages attention to deadlines, submission of stories to publishers, and contest participation. This group is my favorite tool for refining word craft, feedback, and accountability. Members urged me to find a group for children’s books.
I joined the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, http://www.scbwi.org then won a contest for a free critique of my manuscript. I entered an illustration contest onsite. The winner’s art receives access to publishers and agents.
At my first writer’s conference, I scheduled fifteen-minute appointments with editors, publishers, and faculty—vital for connections, feedback, and possible publication contracts. An acquisitions editor requested my portfolio and entered it into her network base. A freelance writer urged, “Pitch, pitch, pitch!”
My first story, Meaghan O’Meara’s Prayer Bowl, was published in Inspire’s Forgiveness. A second, Don’t Bypass Joy, My Love, will appear in Inspire’s Joy.
New to this industry, I’ve discovered success sprouts from creativity, practice, feedback, and marketing. Pitch the story, write a query letter, and learn good etiquette with publishers and editors. Blogs and social media create an individual’s “brand”—a personal identifier.
Expect a valuable experience behind the doors of opportunity God presents. Events are not limited to what we see. My years of design and mural creation for my clients provides me a chance in book illustration. God often connects our past choices to future outcomes which reveal a larger picture. Write and submit, then watch God’s creative power in action.