I have a confession to make--I am not a writer. Yes, I have written two books, and yes, I am writing another one. But in the official sense of the word, I don't qualify.
I didn't grow up thinking that someday I would be a writer. I didn't rush off to college and take classes in journalism or creative writing. I didn't pour myself into the 'classics' to see how others do it or study 'how to' books on style, grammar, or proper sentence structure. I've only attended a handfull of official writers' conferences, and that was only because I was one of the featured guests.
So, you see, I'm really not a writer. Or, am I?
Just what does it take to be a writer, or an author, or whatever title you want to give it? I was told by a few very wise people(both of whom are accomplished authors themselves) that all you really need to know how to do is tell a good story. I have encountered countless individuals over the past few years who have expressed to me their interest in writing. But the one thing I hear from these people more than anything is, "I don't know how to get started." The idea is in their head, but getting it down on paper seems to cause every nerve in their body to tense up. The connection between the brain and the fingertips just doesn't seem to be there.
So, what's the solution? It's really very simple. Just tell the story. Just pick up the pen or sit down at the keyboard and let the story come out. No doubt you have put the words together in your mind already, so just put them down on the paper or on the screen in exactly the same way. Don't worry if you have misspelled words, if the grammar isn't perfect, or you forget every punctuation rule you ever learned. When the story is finished, you can go back and take care of all the details.(or better yet, find a good editor to help you)
In writing my first novel, A Forever Kind of Love, that's exactly the way I did it. I sat down at my computer and just let the words in my brain flow into my fingertips. I didn't know--and at the time, didn't care--if I was doing it the 'right' way. I only wanted to tell the story, and I did. Everything else came after I had the manuscript completed. Because I took the initiative, I have not only been given the gift of a successful book, but I have built a fan base, made wonderful new friends, and am continually learning how to improve upon my newfound love. You will undoubtedly see the differences in the sequel, Waiting for Tomorrow. I have definitely grown.
And you know what? I told my story, and still have more to tell. Maybe I am a writer after all.