Sunday, May 3, 2009

"I'm Not a Writer!" by Tracy Crump

What am I doing here? I stared out the taxi window waiting for the driver to take me to a hotel for my first writers’ conference. Exhausted from a long flight alone, I now faced a glitch with the prearranged taxi service —just one more confirmation that I should have stayed at home. I must be out of my mind! I’m not a writer!

Many writers say they’ve wanted to write since they were very young. I am not one of them. Not until a heartbreaking personal experience literally drove me to the computer did I begin to set words to paper in an attempt to reach out to others.

Ten years ago, our then eighteen-year-old son confessed that he had become addicted to pornography and turned our world upside down. In working through the pain and helping our son find freedom, I felt God’s leading me to write about our family’s struggle. I began to keep a journal of the roller coaster ride our son experienced in battling his addiction and amassed a quantity of research on the subject. Over the next summer, having never written before, I composed the “bones” of a book, then put it aside—for five years.

Life went on. Our son entered graduate school and moved away from home. I tried to put this chapter in our lives behind me but sensed more and more that God was not going to settle for a half-finished story tucked away in a drawer. Reluctantly, I pulled out the manuscript and completed the book, still not knowing what to do with it.

Finally, I stepped out on faith and registered to attend the Christian writers’ conference. With the purpose of seeking a book publisher firmly planted in my mind, I ignored the conference information concerning periodicals. I had written a book, yes, but that didn’t mean I was going to write anything else. It certainly didn’t mean I was a writer.

However, I decided at the last minute to adapt an article from my book to take with me. At the conference, I hesitantly showed it to the editor of a large Christian magazine. To my surprise, he liked the piece and asked me to expand it. He published the article six months later. Since then, I’ve written and published many articles on pornography and other issues that I hope have ministered to those who read them. What’s more, I found I enjoyed writing!

How about you? Is God calling you to tackle some tough topics? Maybe He wants you to finally pen that novel you envision or turn your scripture reading into devotionals or a Bible study. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned professional, you’ll find something to hone your skills and head you toward publication at the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference.

It’s not easy to take the plunge and attend a writers’ conference. I know. But if you believe as I do that God has a higher purpose in mind for your words, you can rest easy. He will make a way.

Join Tracy for “Tackling Tough Topics: Writing on Sensitive Issues From Personal Experience” and “Critique Give and Take” at the 2009 Kentucky Christian Writers Conference. To learn more about her tough topic, visit For a free monthly e-newsletter for writers, email Tracy at tracygeneral(a)

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