April 15, 2016

The Top 5 Truths I Learned as a New Writer

By Cherrilynn Bisbano

What’s a protagonist? I asked myself as I listened to New York Times Best Selling author, Cecil Murphy.  (You can laugh go ahead).

As a speaker, I was seeking clarity on a career in writing.  Many ladies requested my teachings in book format.  My apt reply, I am not a writer

As gleaned from writing royalty at the 2014 New England Christian Writers retreat, Cecil confirmed all my writing fears.  He also encouraged me and gave me a challenge.  I learned a writer’s life is one filled with rejection, hope and a calling.  That weekend I knew I must complete my ministry by adding writer to my resume.

Over the next twelve months I attend four writing conferences. I met many Best Selling authors and aspiring writers.  I am compelled to share with you the top 5 truths I learned.  I am confident that my writing career would have fizzled out after a few months if I did not apply these truths.

Expect rejection – Thick skin is a must in the writer’s life. Jerry B. Jenkins, Cecil Murphy and Stephen King, along with many others, will testify that rejection is inevitable.  Writing is a business, so when I received my first book proposal I was not shocked or dismayed.   I high-fived my friend as she said, One rejection closer to a book contract.

Attend conferences- Conferences are the best palace to learn and network.   I sharpened my skills and gain new friends.  Please don’t let money be an issue. I acquired scholarships for the conferences.  Think of it as an investment in your career. You are worth it.

Writing is a Job, not a hobby- The most successful consider writing a job.  Whether part time or full time.  My friend Lori Roeleveld works full time days and writes nights and weekends.  If she was not disciplined she would not be published.

Always Learn- Conferences, college courses, along with books are great ways to sharpen writing skills.  I take on line courses also.  Some of these courses are free.  Writing blogs give daily and weekly insite.   The Write Conversation by Edie Melson, Jerry B. Jenkins blog at his website, and Cecil Murphy’s Writer to Writer have helped me immensely.

Read- I don’t have time to read if I write, I thought to myself.  Then I learned that everyone from the Portuguese Nobel prize winner Jose Saramago to Stephen King state that reading is mandatory for the writer.  Jerry B. Jenkins sums it up nicely; Writers are readers. Good writers are good readers.  Great writers are great readers.      

I have a long way to go as a writer.  My hope; best-selling writers still adhere to these 5 truths, so I will too.

Are you following these truths?  What would you add to the list?
Cherrilynn Bisbano is a speaker, teacher, editor and writer. Her passion for helping people is evident. As a speaker, she encourages and equips women to be strong in the Lord. She is Associate Editor at Almost an Author, an online community for aspiring writers. She has recently been added as an acquisitions editor at A3 publishing. She is a two time winner of Flash Fiction Weekly. You can find her published in Amramp, More to Life (MTL), Christian Rep, Refresh and other online magazines.  Her first book, True Star Quality, Learn to Shine, will be out by summer. Cherrilynn proudly served in the Navy and Air National Guard; earning the John Levitow Military leadership award.  She lives with her fourteen year old autistic son, Michael, Jr., and husband of 17 years, Michael, Sr. Her social media links can be found:   Twitter @chingaling3

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