Tuesday, July 25, 2017

On My Way to Becoming a Writer by Angela Arndt

Once Upon a Time

Do you love fairy tales? I do. Those four little words to start the cinema in my mind every time. I love to journey along with the hero, whether it was up the bean stalk or over the raging sea. 
Once Upon a Time

As a child, I wrote a few poems and stories but I could draw better. 

I Had Plans

Ever hear what Robert Burns said about the best-laid plans of mice and men? Mine went haywire too. After I graduated, I took my shiny new art degree and sent out one hundred resumes. Only one person answered. After the interview, she said I should go back to college. Evidently, companies wanted people who knew computer programs and I'd only taken one computer course. 

Eventually I got my Masters in education and became a corporate trainer. Meeting new people was fun and I loved watching them "get it." Soon I was promoted to curriculum writer, writing the training manuals for customer service reps to use the company's computer programs. 



Until One Day

If you've visited my website, you know I have physical challenges. These began to show up around this time. Soon I knew I wouldn't be able to stand for long hours in the classroom or sit for long periods at a desk, so I prayed for guidance.

That's when I saw the Writers’ Digest magazine with an ad for the Christian Writers Guild. It said, “Write Your Story.” That phrase woke something up in my heart. I knew then that I wanted to write stories to stir my readers’ hearts.


I Took the First Step

I began going to conferences and wrote a never-see-the-light-of-day mystery. After spending too much time trying to make it work, my lovely mentor (just like a fairy godmother) convinced me to start over. 

It wasn't until I began a new story, a new genre, and a new writing routine that things began to click. 

With the help of my fantastic support group: my mentor, a wise critique partner, and two faithful craft and accountability partners, my story began to make sense.

With their encouragement, I entered my story in contests. Lots of contests. At first my results were awful and I was discouraged. But my team convinced me to consider the feedback. If it made sense, I made changes. If it didn't, I threw it away. If I wasn't sure, I tried the suggestions to see if it worked.

I made my heroine stronger and upped the stakes. My characters became more real, the story stronger. I started placing in the contests. It was finally ready to submit.

You Can Be a Writer, Too

Even though I've typed, "The End" on my first book for now, my journey has just begun. Every writer is different but each needs a support groups. Successful writers never stop learning. And they always keep writing, no matter what.


If you're writing, what started you on your journey? If not, what's stopping you? 


About the Author
Angela Arndt writes stories about strong, independent women in difficult situations, stories with a thread of romance set in small Southern towns. She hopes they encourage others to overcome their own “back roads.” 
Angela Arndt

Read from Angela at her blog, Joy on the Back Roads or connect with her on her websiteTwitter, and Facebook.

10 comments:

  1. Angie, I loved reading your story. I can't wait to read your book.Reading your story reminded me what agent Chip MacGregor said that spoke to me: "It usually takes four completed manuscripts to learn to write, and fifth one gets a contract." That's exactly what happened in my writing career.

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    1. I really hope you'll be able to read it someday. :) I believe it. I haven't written that many full manuscripts, but I hope I'll be published by the time I write the fifth. All I can do is keep writing.

      Thanks so much for always being an encouragement, Zoe!

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  2. How fun to read about your journey! Looks like we have a lot in common! I was in the Christian Writer's Guild, too, for a while, and I ended up writing some training manuals for my office jobs, too. I agree; having support along this loooong road is so important. Thanks for everything you do to encourage us!

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    1. Emily,

      Were you really? Cool! Being paid to write is a good thing, but if it's for writing fiction, it's wonderful! :)

      Thank you so much! You and your blog have been a constant source of support and encouragement. I always look forward to reading your posts.

      And thanks for leaving a comment, too!

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  3. Angie! Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing! I started writing when my kids were little. I wrote mysteries, a mix between Nancy Drew and Goosebumps, with my kids as the characters. I still get lost in those short stories lol. Then, over one vacation a few years ago, I started writing inspirational romance, found Seekerville, and have been learning ever since. I have a couple completed stories, a few in various stages, and just started another story that is in a completely different genre lol. With many ideas for more. The one I'm working on now is an inspirational psychological suspense. We'll see where it goes! Thanks for this encouraging post!

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    1. Sally, that sounds great! You're really making progress. The key is to write every day, learn the craft, and get that mutual support team together.

      Way to go! And thank you for the encouraging comment! :)

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  4. I admire your tenacity and perseverance, Angie! Your post today shows writers just how challenging our job can be, and yet the reward of continuing to grow as a writer. Constantly, constantly, we work on our craft, open to critique, ready to make changes, gradually improving. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thank you so much, Melinda! Yes, yes, yes! That's it in a nutshell. Keep moving forward. Never stop growing. Thanks so much for being a huge part of that for me!

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  5. Thanks for sharing your journey, Angie! And this writing gig is truly a journey, isn't it? By the way, I love fairy tales too! ;-)

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    1. I'm so glad to be on this journey with such good friends like you! Hugs, sweet friend!

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