Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I'm Not Published Yet

People who know me well, like my mama, remember that when I was a little girl I was a big Diana Ross fan. I didn’t want to just be like Diana Ross, I wanted to be Diana Ross: the hair, the voice, the glamorous persona. I bought almost all of her albums and watched as many of her HBO specials that mama would allow me to see. I still even have a Diana Ross fashion doll, complete with disco-era evening gowns and shoes. I loved her style.

As a writer, it’s taken me a while to develop and believe in my own style, my own voice, without worrying about whether my writing is as good as other authors that I admire. It’s more important for me to study the craft of writing so that I can tell my own stories well, rather than trying to imitate someone else. I had to find out who I was as a writer, which I like to call the art of discovery.

Things I’ve discovered in the process:

If there are no words on the page, there is no story, hence there is no voice. Fleshing out a story idea takes time. The first draft may not be the best draft, but at least it’s a start to the journey.

Only talking about writing a story does not create book. Writing a story creates a book. (see paragraph above)

Writers must use time wisely. Whether you have 15 minutes in the morning before everyone else in the house wakes up or you have 30 minutes at lunch, use that time to be creative. Even if you only get one or two sentences written, that’s still forward motion.

Writers read. It’s essential to expose yourself to good writing in a variety of genres, whether it’s the classics or contemporary writing.

Writers embrace their creative gifts, even when those gifts are still in the process of being molded and shaped.

I encourage other writers to seek out your own voice, your special expression. Only you can give your view of the world, your testimony. Nobody can tell your story like you can.

Tell the story that God gave you.

About the Author

Veronica Fields Johnson is a freelance writer, trivia buff, game show enthusiast and avid reader. She is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University and the President of the Faith Based Fiction Writers of Atlanta, formerly Visions in Print. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and two daughters and is currently working on her first novel.


lizsat said...

Veronica, that was very good advice to find your own voice. I had to find my voice in many areas of my life. Keep the faith.

Your Mother

Sharon Ball said...

Great article by Veronica! As an unpublished writer I can totally relate. It may take time for someone to find their stride as a writer, but it's important to stay the course. Like Veronica, I'm enjoying the journey.

Aziza Bailey said...


This is perfect timing. I truly appreciate your on time wisdom.