Writing: Not As Easy as You Think

March 4, 2013 | By | 1 Comment

Writing is not as easy as you think it is.

Four years ago, when my daughter was in sixth grade, she was blessed to be part of a weekly Creative Writing Workshop. The workshop was led by an ACFW lady author who now teaches her in high school. I watched my daughter’s skills grow, amazed at how good she was getting.

Not As Easy As You Think

Not As Easy As You Think

I’d always want to write. Always thought I’d be good at it if I ever took the time to sit down and do it. Turns out it takes a lot more than a positive attitude.

I started the novel I’d always wanted to write. It was a wonderful experience! I filled the first few chapters with all kinds of back-story, and lengthy descriptions of brick college buildings. I described characters to the nth degree. I felt like Herman Melville. When I had about six chapters done, I decided I’d show it to my daughter.

As she looked at it, I stood there wondering, “I wonder what she is going to like best?”

After a while, she looked up and said, “Dad, there’s no conflict.”

I was so proud. “Nope, no conflict.” I was smiling now. I just knew that no-conflict thing had to be good. I would never have conflict in my stories.

Finally, she asked, “Dad, what’s your POV?” Well, she had me there.

“What’s a POV?” I asked. I’d never heard of it. For those of you who are like I was, POV is an acronym for Point Of View. It lets your reader know who the person is that’s doing all the seeing, smelling and hearing. Turns out that’s pretty important, but I didn’t know that. And I didn’t know you needed conflict, either.

Eventually, I finished writing the book. It took me a year. I showed it around some, got my wife to say she liked it, and enjoyed lots of politeness from some other kind people. It’s the kind of thing you call an interesting experience.

In other words, the book was awful. It now sits somewhere in my version control system, never again to see the light of day. If you don’t have a version control system, don’t worry about it. It’s a software developer thing.

Here’s what the experience did do for me, though. It (nearly) eliminated my arrogant I-can-do-it-because-I-can-do-anything-I-put-my-mind-to attitude. I found I had to walk humbly with God, learn from others, talk less and listen more. That’s not as easy as you think, either!

And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee,
but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him,
and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,
(Deuteronomy 10:12)

Category: Writing

About the Author ()

Suspense fiction writer. I have a wife whom I love, and five children ranging from college to middle age. I love each one. I've worked a day job as a senior software developer since 1999. Previous to that I spent nearly thirty years as a foreign missionary in Vietnam and China. Yes, I speak Chinese as a second language :-)

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Deborah K. Anderson says:

    Out of the mouths of babes, J. 🙂 Don’t you love when that happens?

Leave a Reply