The military publisher blog

Becoming a Writer


Howgate author, Major ret. John Spencer, eloquently describes how he began with a fear of writing to writing now being part of who he is.






In his post first featured on The Wavell Room, John openly talks about how his first attempt at writing started at graduate school and didn't end well. I relate to this, I received a 'see me' at the top of one of my early college assignments only to be informed by my professor - a longterm friend of mine still - that my writing was terrible. It's crushing news but this is part of a process. It doesn't always stop there, writing is a journey where every day can be a school day. Even now, 6 years into running my own publishing house and 25 years as a publishing editor, I am still learning, I still don't know everything and I still Google search a lot of things, but I love this part of my job. Words can be so powerful.


Writing about your own experiences is something I have been going on about for some time as well. Your life is a story. As John states, 'Stories of firsthand experiences, arguments, calls to action, and opinions from people with unique perspectives can be impactful.' No there is no secret to writing and yes everyone can do it with or without taking a writing class but not everyone does. Maybe this is because of a fear of being exposed - 'putting your head above the parapet' takes courage. Someone said to me a few years back when I was beyond nervous about a presentation at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, no one in the audience wants you to fail. Once you've done it, as John experienced and as I have also experienced, there is no going back.


I am certain that you will find John's writing journey relatable. Read the full version 'How I Discovered Writing' here: https://wavellroom.com/2018/12/04/how-i-discovered-writing/


Thank you to John Spencer and the The Wavell Room.

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