Here are some things I did in the first 15 years of writing, starting when I was 15:
- Kept a journal and wrote whenever possible, ideas, sermon notes, observations from Bible reading or prayers, funny stories.
- In 1990 I started a list of good stories.
- Got a degree in print journalism because I wanted to write.
- While doing that I wrote, working for the school newspaper, alumni office, public relations offices of my school.
- Edited the school newspaper my senior year of college.
- Wrote umpteen papers in grad school.
- Wrote letters, newsletters for various organizations, volunteered to write things for people, did resumes for people, wrote family stories and collaborated on a family book.
- Read good books and took note of what good writing is like, how I felt when I read it, the mechanics of making it happen.
- I met and stayed in touch with good people who write.
- I wrote when I didn’t feel like writing, but I wrote.
That briefly covers the first 15 years of my writing life, and I haven’t gotten to actually publishing a magazine article, book, or anything more public than a few hundred people. Next post I’ll tell you about the next 15 years.