Mastering Your Craft

by Edie Melson

When someone asks me what I do or where I work, I always hesitate to mention that I’m a writer. Not because I’m ashamed of it or think I’m not worthy to be called a writer, but because it often leads to some frustrating conversations. Let me see if any of you can relate to some of my experiences.

  • “I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Can you help me?”
  • “I have a book I’ve written. Can you send it to a publisher for me?”
  • “I used to write in high school—maybe you could look at a few things and tell me what you think.”
  • “I’ve been through (fill in the blank) and want to write a book about it. Can you tell me how to get it published?”

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing inherently wrong with these questions, the problem comes when I answer them. I’ve found that most people don’t really want to hear the truth – they want a shortcut to fame and fortune, not the truth.

  • There’s no shortcut to becoming a professional writer. It takes time and commitment.
  • I don’t have an inside track into getting your book published.
  • If I take the time to look at your samples, I’ll tell you the truth and that may not be what you really want.

There are no shortcuts to becoming a master at your craft and writing is no different. Even exceptional talent needs time and experience to hone it into brilliance. I rejoice when I find those who are willing to put in the time and really learn about the craft of writing. Those individuals are a pleasure and I love taking time to help them.

Now it’s your turn to share. What funny situations have you encountered when you confessed you were a writer?

Don’t forget to join the conversation!


Edie Melson is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for life’s stories. She has written hundreds of articles and devotions, including those for Focus on the Family,, and, have flowed from her pen to her audience.

A savvy business owner, Edie has numerous copywriting clients who rely on her expertise in SEO and keyword formatting. She also consults on web content and social networking.

Fighting Fear, Winning the War at Home, is Edie’s latest project. This devotional book for those with family members in the military has just been contracted with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.

A frequent faculty member at writers conferences, Edie shares her insights with other writers around the country. She’s also a contributing editor with The Book Doctor Blog.

Married 29 years to husband, Kirk, they have raised three sons. Visit Edie online at:

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