Friday, May 25, 2018

Becoming a writer

I’ve been working through a Bible study that has me evaluating the way I see myself, the descriptors I use to define who I am from a temporal and eternal perspective. If we default to the temporal lens, most everyone wears different hats in various stages of their life. 

For instance, I am—a wife—a mother, which I blogged about recently (Confessions of a Mom)—a friend—and a writer. Objectively, we are more than our roles, even in this temporal world, but I would like to focus on something we share—being a writer. And while this post may only speak to a few, I thought I’d use this opportunity to share the onset of my journey of becoming a writer in hopes it might encourage someone.

There was a time I wouldn’t have referred to myself as a writer, even though I was writing. I wrote poetry in high school, and love stories later on. Though it wasn’t something I usually shared about myself. Sitting in a college computer lab one day, I was typing the beginning of a romance. When I discovered the person next to me was eyeing what was on my screen, I was embarrassed. At that stage of my life, writing was a “pipe dream”, a long shot of it ever being more than some document I stored on a floppy disc. I couldn’t imagine anything I wrote would matter to anyone, but me.

Years later, and long before publication, I had completed two manuscripts a Bible study, and was actively working on other material. The words “I’m trying to become a writer” was my explanation for anyone who inadvertently learned about my closet activities, which makes me think our friends, and family have access to an arsenal of information they shouldn’t sometimes, but I digress. 

Arguably, what I wrote then wasn’t ready for market, because I had much to learn about techniques. But isn’t it a shame I felt I had to be secretive about writing, or that I thought I had to be published to justify calling myself “a writer”? 

I’ll be honest, having your work published does tend to validate spending hours spent in front of a computer, but it doesn’t change the balance of being a writer versus becoming one. In my opinion, if you write…You are a writer. Whether you write anecdotes in a journal, spill your thoughts in a spiral notebook, or record your day in diary you never anticipate anyone will read, even then…I’d say you’re a writer. 

People often talk about writing a book, but most never write a word. Doesn’t anyone who puts pen to paper, or more likely, keystroke to computer screen, prove they have what it takes to be a writer. There are naturally gifted writers who need little training, but most writers concur that time, practice, and a good editor have contributed to the development of their skills. 

Final word, no matter the pace, or where you are on the journey to publication keep writing, because you are writer, and you have a story to tell. Besides, someone needs to hear your voice. It might even be me.😉

 Penelope grew up in Tennessee, but has lived in various states and a few countries outside the United States. She holds a BS in Business/Political Science and a MS in Multinational Commerce from Boston University.

After working in the field of banking and finance, she left to invest her time with her children at home, and occasionally worked as a substitute teacher. Today, she resides in Indiana with her family where she serves in her church, and occasionally teaches a Bible study or Precepts.

An avid reader of fiction and perpetual student of Biblical truth, she is pursing the life of a writer. She believes her roots, faith, and her experience with other places and cultures, all meld into the voice that splashes onto the pages of her novels.

A Powerful Voice and A Furrow So Deep are Christian Romances published through Anaiah Press, LLC. And her Christmas novella, My Christmas Hope, will be released November 16, 2018.

To follow Penelope on social media:
Facebook: PenelopePowellAuthor
Twitter: @penpowell89


  1. Thanks, Penelope. I’ve had the same problem. When introductions inevitably led to: “What do you do for a living?” it took me years to say with a minimum of self-conscious timidity, “I’m a writer.”

  2. I understand, was the same with me. You can say it with boldness. Appreciate your contributions to Hoosier Ink!