“Nothing has made our job so hard as the invention of the personal computer. Only die-hard writers would endure the pain of writing a book by hand or on a typewriter. Now everyone thinks they can be a author because the PC has made it easier for anyone with a story to write a book.”

My heart was punched listening to the editor of a major publishing exclaim these words as I sat in a workshop at a writer’s conference. I was one of those wanna-be authors who was taking advantage of the ease of the PC and believed I had a story to tell that would help others. Did she not think of me as a real writer?

Was I wasting my time trying to crack into the traditional publishing world? I still had to find the time to write the book and craft my story. Did this new tool no longer make me a “real” writer?

Recently Jerry Jenkins, author of the popular Left Behind series who has published more than 185 books with 20 of them reaching the New York Times bestseller list, selling more than 70 million copies sent an email to members of the Christian Writers’ Guild explaining why he was closing down it’s operation.

He had purchased the Christian Writer’s Guild (CWG) 14 years ago as a way to give back to the industry and help breed future generations of writers. However, in his letter he said it’s harder than ever to break into traditional publishing, but thanks to the new models of publishing it’s easier to get your work out to the market.

Ouch! This is painful, but true.

I endured two years of the Apprentice Course offered through the CWG. I believed each assignment I turned in to be excellent, my best work, until it was returned filled with red and pages of correction. It was painful. It was humbling. But it refined my skill as a writer. It is easier than ever to get our work, our art, out to the world. However, if we want our words to penetrate the hearts of our readers and bring about change, we need to hone the art of writing. And…it helps to have a team of professionals who are skilled in the art of editing, wordsmithing, to refine our best efforts into a message that will bless others.

It’s a strenuous process but nothing good comes without effort and pain.