I was thirteen when I wrote my first novella.

Every day, five days a week, I’d sit down, and I’d write for two hours. By the end of the month, I typed those beautiful words ‘the end’, with a total word count of 32,000. I cracked my knuckles, leaned back, and scrolled all the way to the top of the Word document. It was time to do a quick edit and make sure there weren’t any major grammar mistakes. But as I reread the first chapter I’d written a month before, I came to a startling realization.

The novella was pure garbage.

Horrified, I buried it in the deepest file I could, snapped my laptop shut, and had my very first existential crisis.

From there, I continued to try to hone my craft. I found out that I was one of many who wanted to write a book. After all, 81% of people say they want to be an author, yet less than 1% actually publish. I followed countless writing gurus on YouTube and read dozens of articles on prose, dialogue, and themes. Finally, my pursuit of improving my craft led me all the way to Cambridge, OH, where I’m currently an apprentice at The Company.

There are countless writing tips, tricks, and strategies online. YouTube has a plethora of advice (good and bad), and sometimes, it can be really hard to sort through which advice is right for you.

Well, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t. There will always be more advice for you to find and better tips for you to implement. As a writer, you are always honing your craft.

It’s about you.

Writing is as much about skill as it is about who you are and who God designed you to be. When I first started my writing journey, a friend asked me if I was trying to be the next C.S. Lewis. Originally, I’d said yes. I’d love to produce something as loved as Narnia. But after spending time actually writing and pursuing my craft, I came to a realization.  I didn’t need to be the next C.S. Lewis, I needed to be the first Alli Prince!

We need you to be who God designed you to be and to write the way He called you to write. If you and I want to beat that daunting task of being published authors, we need to shift our mindsets in three specific ways.

1. Be willing to learn.

You will never succeed as a writer (or a person) if you’re not teachable. As my mentor says, you should be the dumbest person in the room. Surround yourself with experts—and then actually take their advice.

Writing isn’t all about skill or natural talent. It’s about dedication and determination.

2. Be brave and try new things—like, really new things.

Last week, I let a cow lick me. A couple of days before, I had the rare opportunity to see the inside of a cockpit and ask the pilot a couple of questions.

There were many, many, many reasons why I did not want to do these things. The cows were really big up close, and I still have a bruise on my hip where one nudged me, and I stumbled back a good couple of feet. In the plane, I was way in the back, in the window seat, when the pilots announced we were delayed and, if we wanted, we could come get pictures. I had to ask two fellow passengers to stand and move to the side, then walk past the entire flight as the only adult who wanted a photo. And yes, the stewardess did make fun of me. (All in good humor; she was great.)

In my time at The Company, I’ve herded pigs, fought off wasps, and (the most terrifying of all) submitted my writing to critique. But if I wasn’t willing to be brave and do those things, I’d still be all the way back in Vegas, sitting on the gray sofa in our living room, dreaming of what it would be like to be an author.

3. Press towards God.

Ultimately, if you aren’t pursuing God fully, everything you do is futile. I’m serious about this. If God isn’t real to you, how can you expect to impact Christian Fiction, let alone the world? What you see is what you will write—and if you see more of The World than God, I have some bad news for you about what will pour out of you when you write.

Writing is about skill—crafting words that flow effortlessly together. It’s about good prose, witty dialogue, and thrilling plots. There are some…really bad writers out there, but you can learn and grow. Writing is just as much about skill as it is about who you are and who God is growing you into.

Where is God growing you?  

Want to get encouragement to keep pushing forward? Follow my Newsletter!

Upgrade your Joy!

Sign up with your email and I will send you a free devotional, once a day for five days. Together, we’ll explore five different areas of our faith and what joy there is to be found in them!

You've subscribed! Thanks!