April 08, 2016

The Writer's Apprenticeship by Karma Pratt

Our prompt: Share discoveries and turning points of your writing apprenticeship (past or present).

I wasn’t sure I had much wisdom to contribute on this topic. In many ways, I feel that my writing apprenticeship has just begun. There’s so much learning to still be done!

From a technical perspective, learning the mechanics of writing has been a simple side effect of loving to read. From childhood, I have had a deep love of words and books. They have been my constant companions. 

Words have taken me on journeys to new lands, uncharted territories unbound by the desire of imagination to thrive in the wilds. In my mind, words have shaped images into stories; stories with twists and turns, moving me from dreams to reality and back again. I so love the power of each carefully selected word, cozying up to its partners on either side, creating a whirlwind of emotion, provoking thoughts. Words are the catalyst for new creation, for the stirrings of possibility awakening to new life.

My love of words gave birth to a desire to communicate clearly and effectively in written and verbal communication. I became a “word geek”, studying English language and literature, and throwing in a side of Spanish for fun, because words are magical in any language. 

Eventually, I moved on and studied Professional Communications, becoming a Master of Art in the process. That still gives me tingles. Despite what the title might indicate, I do feel as though I am at the beginning stages of my apprenticeship.

The winding path of this writer’s apprentice has been studded with dreams.  I remember a vivid dream from many years ago, when Jesus told me I needed to become an apprentice, and showed me the first steps to creating clarity and getting guidance on that path. Well, in my dream he actually said “disciple”, but my small world was not ready for what that meant, so I kept asking him to repeat himself, until finally I got the clear word, “Apprentice! You need to become an apprentice!” As a girl who grew up less in the church and more in the oil and gas industry, the word “apprentice” made more sense to me than “disciple”. I simply didn’t know enough to understand the significance of discipleship (yet).

Fast forward many years, two children, and one home church later: I feel as though I’m finally stepping fully into the apprenticeship I have been called to. I realize this love of words and books is the expression of a gifting God has graciously instilled in me. My job is to steward that gift, grow in it, and allow my life to take shape around the love and light of Christ.

I read a devotional recently that stated, “No matter your circumstances… He is your purpose.” What a beautiful reminder! He is my purpose in all circumstances. Every word I write, think, or speak must be guided by my desire to grow in Christ. As a disciple of Jesus, I am committed to using the gifts he’s given me to move through this world sharing His love in the ways that make the most sense for me. I have a feeling this is the type of apprenticeship that never truly ends. I’m looking forward to the journey, however.
Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that.  Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. 

Galatians 6:4-5 (The Message Bible)

Karma Pratt is a faith-driven mom of twins, a communicator, a writer, and an encourager from way back. Say hello at redraincoatcreations.com or connect on TwitterFacebook, LinkedIn


  1. I've always been a believer that reading is one of the best teachers, especially for writers. Your final paragraph is so succint, too. I really sums it up well. I actually might want to quote you on that... :)

    1. Um... and then I saw that it was a quote from the Message Bible. No wonder it resonated so much! (Also, I see I mispelled succinct. Drat!)

    2. I was trying to make it a fancy quote, but technology was too savvy for me yesterday lol. It resonates with me too! I think it's a wonderful reminder for all of life, not just the writing parts :)

  2. Your blog is so beautifully written, Karma, and you are giving us such clear, practical thoughts as well as a true spiritual connection. Thanks for all you are sharing with us.


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