Things I Would Tell My Younger Writer Self

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By Darlene L. Turner

Time travel stories have always fascinated me. Back to the Future, Star Trek’s The Voyage Home, and Kate & Leopold are a few movies that come to mind. There are lots more. I loved seeing how people reacted in times not their own. I realize these are scripted movies, but it makes me wonder how I would behave if I traveled back to Dr. Quinn’s time or if I had the chance to live in the days of Paul, James, or sit under the teaching of Jesus by the Sea of Galilee. I can only imagine.

This brings to mind the following question someone recently asked me in an interview. “If you could go back, what would you tell your younger writer self?”

Ummm…good question! I decided to poll some author friends to get their response for a presentation. Here are a few of their responses.

Reach out to other writers more and not be afraid to ask questions. There is so much to learn in the writing world and most of the time, the best answers come from each other. I admit there were times I wished I’d asked the question rolling through my mind, but fear of looking foolish held me back. Writers want to help other writers. We can’t let our fears hold us back. Reach out!

Don’t be in a rush to get published. This is a tough one, but I heard this advice more than once and I’m so glad I listened. We live in a NOW society and we all want our books on the shelf, but a writer will never regret the time spent growing their skills and waiting for the right publisher. I know now that I wasn’t ready back when I first started pitching. Sometimes our writing needs a little more time and polishing. We must trust in God’s timing for our writing journey. He does indeed know best!

Don’t compare yourself to other writers. The comparison game is so hard not to do when we see our friends getting agents, contracts, awards, etc. Sure, we’re ecstatic for them, but the lie that we’re not good enough festers and thrusts us into a pit of despair. Climb back out and remember every writer’s journey is different. Some publish quickly, some don’t. My journey took approximately ten years. Yours is specifically made for YOU!

Write NOW. Don’t just talk about writing, carve out time to write. Start now. I would add to that to continue writing after you’ve sent your manuscript off to an agent or publisher. All writers know part of the process is waiting, so why not keep those fingers to the keyboard? Start on that next story or devotional.

Take care of yourself. Sitting at a desk for hours on end is not good for our necks, shoulders, wrists, hips, and backs. We need to get up and get moving. Get our circulation flowing. Set a timer and when it goes off, step away from the keyboard. Also, when we’re on deadline we tend to forget to eat properly, get the proper rest or even exercise. This is so important. Your body will thank you!

I’m sure we’ve heard these answers before, but they’re important reminders for all writers—whether you’re a newbie or you’ve written fifty books. Let’s not wait and have to time travel. Tell our writer self all of these today!

What would you add to this list of what you would tell your younger writer self?

Darlene L. Turner’s love of suspense began when she read her first Nancy Drew book. She’s turned that passion into her writing and believes readers will be captured by her plots, inspired by her strong characters, and moved by her inspirational message. Her books have placed in various awards including the ACFW Genesis, Daphne du Maurier, Selah and Directors Choice (Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference). She’s represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency.

Darlene met her husband Jeff at the turtle races in Ontario, Canada. She loves flavored coffee and plaid shirts. You can connect with Darlene at where there’s suspense beyond borders


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