5 Discoveries of a New Writer


Hey guys!

Woo whoo! We made it to month two for my blog!! For those whose eyes are returning for the second time around, welcome back! And to those joining us for the first time, I hope this doesn’t disappoint! Lol

Last month’s blog was such a rush! In case you missed it, here’s last month’s post, Seeing Jesus In the Dark,to tickle your fancy and then meet me back here. Quite honestly, I really enjoyed the whole blogging process. I knew I wanted to put something out, but I had NO clue as to what or how it would materialize even leading all the way up to the day it was posted. That’s another long, drawn out, hilariously boring story in and of itself. So I will spare you the extra few minutes of reading and get right to the point of why I’m gracing you with my presence for the second month in a row.

Let’s face it…I’m a new writer guys. Before 2014, I had no daydreams of writing the latest soon to be cinematized trilogy about a dystopic society in which their children are sent to the slaughter as a game (I kid! I kid! Don’t crucify me just yet, I was a HUGE fan of that series too!) At that time in my life, I was just beginning to see the light of day from a five year span in which I was accustomed to being up to my elbows in diapers and my trademark accessory was spit up. A new day had dawned. Refreshingly enough, it was the onset of our homeschool adventure with my first daughter. But I was simultaneously coming to the realization I wanted to make a foray in to the lot of already established African American writers. Consequently one fateful April morning in 2014, while sitting at my dining room table, I launched my writing journey. And I haven’t looked back.

This path has been fraught with many joys and toils. I’m grasping the reality that though its not all sunshine and roses, I can still stop to smell the roses along the way. The learning curve can be steep, but nevertheless, I’ve pressed on and lived to write another day. What’s helpful to me when I’m learning something knew is hearing from the people who have charted those waters before me. I hope this blog post will aid those of you wondering if you too can take the plunge. With that said, here are five things I’m discovering as a new writer.

5 Discoveries of a New Writer 

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# Find out who you are and run with it

I’m silly, outgoing, super talkative, dramatic, smarter than I give myself credit for, selectively shy, contemplative, and a go-getter. I have dreams and I work hard towards making them become reality. But I’m not ignorant of the fact that I have limitations. I can’t be everywhere at the same time nor should I try. When I get overwhelmed, I tend to drop the ball a whole lot more than I care to admit. Plodding along this writing trek has forced me to look Courtney square in the mirror and understand who I am as well as who I am not. And I’m beginning to be okay with that. This, my friends, can be one of your greatest strengths as a writer. I tell corny jokes — and I love it! Why would I water that down for the sake of disinterested readers? I’m certain I’ll eventually find someone willing to chuckle, even if its just a little.

#2 It’s okay to expand your bandwidth while on the ride

I LOVE being a Stay-At-Home-Mom (SAHM)! Whoa, did those words just hit the keys? The truth is, I really do. I couldn’t be happier with where I am in life. Still, I’m also discovering its okay to expand my bandwidth while on this ride. For years, my mind was dead set on finishing grad school, becoming a licensed clinician and opening a private practice. Then life happened. I got married while in grad school, had my first daughter as I finished up grad school and was a SAHM before I could blink! Sure, I could have continued pursuing licensure, but to be frank with you, I was running low on enthusiasm. I couldn’t fathom spending one more second in a classroom studying Rorschach tests. My. Brain. Was. Jelly. I loved what I had gleaned as a counseling student. But I was ready for a change. Soon after, I spent half a decade as a full-time mommy while also juggling being a part-time Mobile Therapist, Drug & Alcohol counseling intern, individual, group, and family therapy counselor. By the time that ship sailed, I welcomed this unexpected respite with open arms. I jumped at the chance to take a nose dive into being the crazy AND dorky mom. People may think I probably post way too many kid related incidents. I also drive a van with permanent “artwork” etched into its blue paint, courtesy of my three-year-old son . Yet, what I’m getting at is I haven’t stopped there. For me, my writing exploits have expanded what it means to be a wife and mother. Its a genuine expression that stems from this very sacred mantle I’ve taken on. You too, my fellow writers (and readers), can expand your bandwidth as well. Try it, it feels good!

#3 Use your freak out circle

 What in the world is a freak out circle? Haha! Okay, so as I’ve mentioned before, I can be dramatic (see #1). That means, my very near and dear friends who double as sisters get to experience the brunt of all my drama entails. Last week alone, I called three of my closest friends several days in a row. One of those lovely ladies actually received two texts and three phone calls from me, three days straight. My fingers are the one part of my body that got a work out last week! But its okay, they get it. Even better, they get me. I can totally freak out with them and at this point in our friendship, they don’t even bat an eyelash. I’m sure I’m not the first new writer who has doubted themselves. I will not be the last. But what keeps me going are those randomly panicked phone calls in which they talk me off the hyperbolic ledge and I resume my day. You will do well dear writer, to get your own freak out circle because mine is not up for grabs. 😉

#4 Feedback gooood…no feedback, baaaad

This title cracks me up. When I read it, I hear Frankenstein’s low growl of a voice echoing in my ears. But seriously, new writers, let’s stop thinking of feedback as the two-headed monster crouching in our bedroom closet ready to pounce when we go looking for it. Feedback has saved me from many-a terrible flops! And it can save you too! When I write, I’m doing it for me first. But the goal is that others will enjoy it as well. With this in mind, seeking feedback from family, friends and other writers is good for us. We grow from the stretching critiques provide. They push us to see our words from another person’s eyes. Feedback can be a welcome friend or a hostile enemy depending on the way in which you view it. Trust me, we can all benefit from sounding a little more like Frankenstein when it comes to receiving feedback.

And lastly…

#5 Write away, any day

You knew it was coming…of course I would find a way to sneak the name of my blog into one of these early posts! Come on guys, you should know me by now. Okay, so its cute…this title I mean. But why did I chose to name my blog this of all things and why am I using it as my last new writer discovery? Well, because its true. I woke up around 5:30 in the morning the day I began formulating this blog post. Mind you, that was a Saturday morning and the kids were away at grandma’s. I tossed and turned for about a half hour and then I finally couldn’t take it anymore. I had to get to my laptop. Well, I’m discovering that’s what this writing life can be marked by. When I get an idea that’s too hard to shake, I MUST get it out. If not, I will become a crazy person. So when the “spirit leads”, write away…any day. No seriously. Go write and I mean right away! 🙂

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed my list. Feel free to chime in below in the comments section with any discoveries of your own. And, don’t be a blog hog. If you liked this blog, please share it freely! If you want more posts of my life as a wife, mother and aspiring writer, hit the subscribe button to follow me. Ta ta for now and I’ll see ya next month!

Published by Courtney B. Dunlap

Christ follower. Wife. Mother. Friend. Writer...and excited to grow! I believe there's a need for more down-to-earth online spaces in which moms like you and me and anyone else in-between can explore the in's and out's of homeschooling free from competition yet rich with encouragement. My hope is that all that you find here will provide just that!

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