Several years ago, I wrote about my love of writing. It seemed to me that it was time to return to that topic since that blog no longer exists. Perhaps you are contemplating writing a book.
Well, if that is the case, you might want to first examine your mindset. Do you love to read, or do you consider it just a job? It is my opinion that to become a successful author you first must have a love of writing. Let’s take a look at my journey and see if it resonates with you.
I Love to Read
Ever since I was a child, I have loved reading books. It was as a child that I read the masterpiece War & Peace. This was a large book that told the story of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia. His decision to invade Russia was probably based on two observations. The first was that England, his enemy, was distracted by a war with the United States. It was a case of the mouse against the mighty cat, but he wasn’t concerned about who would win, although he may have leaned toward America. The important thing was England would not be a threat while she was engaged against America.
The second observation was erroneous. He imagined that Russia would not be a problem. He had the mightiest army in the world; an army extremely loyal to him. Russia didn’t stand a chance! Well, if you know history, it turned out to be a disastrous invasion leading to defeat there and ultimately at Waterloo.
I Love to Write
Fast on the heals of reading came an unquenchable imagination. When reading, I would imagine myself in the scenes I was reading. My writing started out as playacting; my pretending to be the hero I was reading about. By the time I was a teenager, I was attempting to put my imagination on paper. However, I was untrained. Fortunately, I was unsuccessful. But it did teach me that I needed to learn more about writing.
More on the other side of this break.
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Now back to the article.
The Love of Reading and Writing
The desire to write stems from my love of reading but desire didn’t grant me the skills I needed. That came from study, hard work, and repeated failures. While a young man I tried to write a book, but every time I would try, I would hit the proverbial wall. I would get about five chapters into the story and suddenly I was stopped. It didn’t help that when taking a writing course, I got laid off and was unable to continue taking it. But I did learn that I really enjoyed writing and had some skill. This knowledge kept me going in the years ahead.
So began years of attending what I call the school of hard knocks. It was rough, but my love of writing kept me going which brings me to another point.
Love of Writing can Sustain Your Drive
The love of writing sustaining your drive? Yes. And it is an important consideration. I used the words can sustain for a purpose. By itself the love of writing is a great motivator. But it is limited. Constant frustration coupled with a lack of knowledge can undermine and ultimately defeat you. So, you need something more which I will get to in a moment.
Still, the love of writing is a powerful force that will strengthen your writing career for years. But while it kept me going, I was not moving forward. I couldn’t overcome the ‘wall’ nor was my technical career improving significantly. I needed something positive.
The Love of God
That something positive came when I asked Jesus Christ into my heart on May 9, 1973 at the age of 30. That is the day that a fundamental change occurred in my heart. Now I had a love for God plus the love of God. It changed my life! But more than that, it changed my writing! Now my writing took on a distinctive Christian influence that continues to this day.
You ask did I start writing books that got published?
No, in fact, my stories continued to hit roadblocks. It took another 30 years before my first book was published. But the love of God coupled with a love for writing did sustain me and I began seeing improvements. Different people have different motives for writing, but looking back I realize that God wants me to write books, fiction and nonfiction, that are Christian and God honoring. And that is what I set about doing.
The Love of God’s Word
I realize that you the reader may not be a Christian, but this is the story of my life. But the moment I got saved I fell in love with the Bible, God’s Word. Coupled with a love for history, my whole focus turned in a positive direction.
Another transformative day arrived. It is my practice to have devotions in the morning (now it is with my wife). On this morning I was reading the Book of Genesis when God showed me that I could write novels based on the Bible. It proved a career changing direction.
Realizing that the Bible deals with facts and is historical in nature, I am now free to write novels and nonfiction books based on the Bible. Just like you can write historical novels based on secular history, I am able to write about historical people and events reported on in the Bible. It resulted not only in getting my first book published, but in my writing an entire series consisting of six books, all based on men and women in the Bible. That series by the way is The World That Was and is available on Amazon and at our bookstore. Now, I am also writing nonfiction books dealing with the Bible .
I still remember that morning devotion to this day. I was studying the Book of Genesis in chapter six which reports on Noah and the Flood. And it suddenly struck me. The Bible is essentially a history book relating historical facts. In this case, it was relating the facts pertaining to the Flood and Noah building the ark. It was as Sergeant Friday of the TV series Dragnet used to say, ‘just the facts’. But it provided room for me to write the rest of the story that enabled a reviewer to say that I “brought the Bible alive”. Ever since, that has been a goal; namely to bring the Bible alive to my readers!
That first book was Refuge: The Genesis Chronicles was published and was soon followed by Adam’s Chronicles. Then I combined those two books, added a ton of information and published Perished: The World That Was. As mentioned above five more books followed. Since then I have written other books and now I am writing a new series based on the life of Moses, plus another novel based on the life of Daniel. All of this has happened in part because of my love for writing!
Love of Writing Asserts Itself
With frustration gone, I now have a calling upon my life and stories to tell! I believe that as Christians we should be motivated by a love for God in whatever we do. And all writers should be motivated by a love for writing. It is why we write.
To be sure, God’s love toward me that led to my salvation was and is the dominant factor in my writing. But the love of writing that He gave me in childhood still plays an important role in my life and career.
Do You Have a Love of Writing?
As you undoubtedly have seen, I believe that having a love for writing is an important role to play in any author’s career. Yes, there is more needed, but you need to have an underlying drive, which will carry you forward. It will play a major role in overcoming obstacles and improving your writing.
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T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.