June 12, 2013

On Writing and not Publishing - Lorrie Orr

"You're not really a writer."
"You're a fake."
"A wannabe."
"You've got no stick-to-it-ive-ness."

These are the thoughts that sometimes come to mind when I read the Inscribe blog or blogs by other writers. They come because although I love to write, I'm terrible, really awful, at marketing myself. Publishing isn't something I'm willing to work at just now in my writing career (even saying that word feels fake). I did it for a couple of years, with beginning success (articles in Discipleship Journal, Today's Christian Woman, Romantic Homes, and others). But I stopped. The isolation of writing and the stress of constant marketing made me think that I wasn't really a writer.

Instead, I returned to school and achieved a B.A. in French. Now I'm a teacher on call at a Christian high school and I love interacting with the students and staff there.

But I continue to write. Writing is in my blood. When I have a problem to solve, when life seems overwhelming, when gratitude threatens to overflow, I turn to my journal, to my computer, always to writing. Writing clears and makes sense of the mazy muddle that can be my mind.

Not all my writing relates to sorting out my thoughts. I recently invigilated AP exams at school. Three hours of walking up and down between rows of students left me a lot of time to think. One day I composed a poem in my head and wrote it down later. I added it to my small collection of poems and think that one day I will compile them into a book for my husband.

Character sketches come to mind and are scribbled on odd sheets of paper and filed away, for what purpose - I don't know. I store memories in files on my computer. I write Morning Pages on quiet days when I stay at home. I muse about the meaning of a verse of scripture I read.

I am a writer. I write because I must. I love to read what others write and perhaps someday, the desire to be published will return. For now, I'm content to write.

by Lorrie Orr


  1. I SO relate to these words. Thank-you.

  2. I second that... As Janet already says, I SO relate to your words too. Writing is always my 'go to' for whatever is going on in my life.

    I like that sentence, 'writing clears and makes sense of the mazy muddle that can be my mind."

    So much of my own writings are meant for individuals. My favourite writing genre is letter writing (or the modern email and blog comments). That's what gives me the greatest joy.

    So the writing may not be 'published' but in truth it's often reached its audience of one.
    Just as important as ten thousand.

    Lorrie, I've always been drawn to your writings... here or on your own blog, So I'm glad to learn that writing makes you content.

  3. Your post resonates with many of us - published or not. For those of us with writing 'in our blood' it is not a matter of whether someone else will ever read what is written. it is the writing process itself - the need to express oneself in words - that makes us writers.

  4. Oh, can I relate to this! I just finished reading an interview with a book agent and she was insistent that any aspiring author nowadays must have a good "platform", i.e., an on-line presence, such as a popular blog, large Twitter following, plus lots of networking at writers' conferences, etc. I felt exhausted just reading about it.

    I'll stick to blogging for now, I think. It seems to be where God has me at the moment. It's very encouraging to read that you have some similar feelings, Lorrie.

  5. restating what has already been said!

  6. Like you, I would rather write than promote! But that doesn't mean our writing is any less meaningful.

  7. Thank you, Lorrie, you clarified what has been going around in my head for a long time. I can't not write, but I don't think I can make it my full-time profession. I need to interact with people too much to allow myself to spend the majority of my time writing or marketing my writing and other activities at my computer. And having read your post I realize that accepting this is giving me even more joy in writing. Glad you're still writing and posting!


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