Guest Blog: An Amateurs Guide to Becoming A Writer by Denise Vaughan / by Brian Suman

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Well, this is a first, I’ve ever written about writing before.  But, hey, if you want to read more about writing from a complete amateur then this is the article for you! 

Honestly, I guess that’s where I would start. WHAT makes someone a writer?  I used to struggle with that question.  I didn’t feel like I could really call myself a writer, I have not written a viral post, I am not yet a published author, but, I write.  I write often, I try to write honestly and I’ve come to the conclusion that makes me a writer!  If you want to be a writer and feel you have something to share with others, then my first bit of amateur advice would be to write!  Write when it’s hard, write regularly, write when you’re not sure how to start, write when you don’t have all the answers, but write.  Then you too can call yourself a “writer”.

I would say one of the most difficult struggles I’ve had in my writing is making time for WHEN to write.  Writing regularly to your audience is important, especially when blogging.  I, as well as many of you work a full time job and our creative endeavors have to fit in amongst the rest of life’s responsibilities.  For me, who tends to be a harsh task master towards myself, I’ve tried to loosen the reigns and not have a specific quota that I must meet in order to feel successful, however, I make sure that writing is a regular practice and discipline that I make time for on a weekly basis.  Find what amount of time works for you, determine when it works best to make sure it gets on the schedule and keep the appointment with yourself.  I have found that writing and making time to use my voice in this way not only hopefully encourages others who read but it also changes me for the better.  We all need to make time for those things on our schedule, whether it’s writing or any other creative outlet.

They (whoever “they” are) say as a writer that you should always know WHO your audience is and I think that is essential. I actually visualize the individuals in my mind that I’m hoping to reach with my writing.  This helps bring clarity and intention to every word, it helps me edit what is not helpful to my audience and keeps my intention pure.  What message do you have to share and who needs to hear it?  Write with them in mind.

WHERE do I write?  I have an ideal here of what I would like to say, which involves a dedicated office space with white washed shiplap walls overlooking a beautiful water front view with loads of natural light filtering in.  However, reality is this I write wherever I can.  Wherever I can find relative quiet and a sense of personal space.  I write in coffee shops, I write on my bed, but mostly I write sitting on the couch in the living room with my Mac on my lap, looking out the window at my Barbecue grill and some tall evergreen trees.   Find the where that works best for you in your current environment and write.

What’s your WHY?  This is a great question to ask when it comes to most things in life.  For me when it comes to writing, I write because I want to remind myself and others that we can learn a lot in life through our imperfections and perceived weaknesses.  I want my writing to feel like a refreshing cup of cold water given without any strings attached to a reader who is feeling weary and worn and unsure if there’s another step left in them.  I write to remind myself that I have something to offer a brother or sister even though I’m a complete work in progress and I write to remind others that their current circumstances are not the final word and a lot of beauty can come from ashes.  I write to bring hope and encouragement to those who feel like weary stragglers cause I’ve felt that way before as well.  That’s why I write, what’s your why?

For me there is only one response to HOW to write and it has nothing to do with great grammar, proper punctuation or any technical facet of writing.  My answer would be to write honestly, write from a vulnerable place, be willing to share the failure.  I don’t know about you but I can learn a whole lot more from someone’s struggle than I can from their picture perfect finish.  Write in such a way that your readers can identify and in so doing they will be free to take their own leap of faith and fail and survive as well.

I would encourage you if writing is something that interests you, if you feel like you have something to say, write!  Just begin.  No perfection required.  Write in your own genuine voice and share it with the world.  It can be scary to fling your words out into the universe but the fear is only temporary and after that it is freeing and fulfilling all at once!  Go for it my fellow writers!!

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Denise firmly believes that our willingness to be vulnerable with each other is what God can use to make a real difference in the lives of others and brings us freedom in the process.  Her goal and passion in life is to provide hope and encouragement to people as they face challenges life is sure to bring.  Finding the courage to face your fears and pursue your dreams is something God desires for each of us and Denise’s ability to communicate down to earth insights related to the realities of life provides a boost to those who read and listen.

In addition to speaking and writing, Denise is a lover of music, vinyl collector, sunshine on her face, and a good cup of coffee.

Follow Denise at Neeserisms.


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Portrait photographer based out of Hamilton, Ohio. When not photographing people to help tell their story, I spend my time bringing my imagination to life and doing things I have never done before.

Imagine. Capture. Create.