David Thomas, award-winning and best-selling author, presented his 10-steps to being a good writer Tuesday at Texas Wesleyan University.
Thomas spoke to faculty and students as part of the Marjorie Herrera Lewis Endowed speaker series in Martin hall.
Ryan grounds, senior mass communication major and panelist, said before the event that he was excited to hear what Thomas had to say.
“I hope I get a deeper look into the story,” said Grounds.
In order to succeed as a writer you must develop realistic expectations, work hard, read and write constantly, Thomas said in his introduction.
“Too many dreams perish because of unrealistic expectations,” said Thomas. “If it is easy you are not doing it right. You must write and rewrite.”
In order to be a good writer you must analyze good and bad writing, he said.
And most importantly understand the responsibilities that come along with writing.
“Words are powerful,” Thomas said. “Who ever said sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me was wrong. Words have significant meaning.”
Some people only have one chance to tell their life story. You as a writer are responsible in some cases to tell that story, he said.
“Which can be intimidating,” Thomas said.
One must develop thick skin as writer, Thomas said.
“Writing is the leading cause to criticism,” he said.
His first book was about a high school football team at a Christian church.
The audience laughed as Thomas explained his experience with criticism from the book.
“One critic told me the book had too much god and football in it, Thomas said.
You must learn how to evaluate your audience’s criticism, good and bad, Thomas said.
And it is significantly crucial that you write about something you love said Thomas. You must find your passion.
“Your best writing will come from the things you enjoy,” Thomas said. “Remember why you write and find your purpose.”
Thomas found his passion in the book Foxcatcher, a New York Times bestseller and the story that inspired the Golden Globes and Oscar-nominated movie of the same name, according to txwes.edu.
Student panelists, Rebekah Ruiz, Bria Wiley, Ryan Grounds, Mike Acosta, and Robert Brady, asked Thomas questions about the book.
Thomas’ response to the questions sparked laughter and praise from the audience.
Thomas, a former sports journalist, said he liked to pursue great stories.
“I like to be able to tell the side of a story from a well-known event or movie,” Thomas said.
Foxcatcher did an accurate job of telling the same information as the book, Thomas said.
“They stayed true to the heart of the story,” he said.
Thomas ended with encouraging the crowd to find their Marjorie.
Marjorie Lewis, Thomas’ mentor and the first female sports writer in Fort Worth, helped him strive for excellence, Thomas said.
“I did not want to let down the people that invested their time into me,” he said.
Samantha Rodriguez, Junior mass communication major, said she wished he had spoken longer.
“He was a very funny guy who knows how to educate students,” Rodriguez said. “He is an amazing leader for young journalists to look up too.”
Valerie Spears, senior mass communication major, said he had great advice that she could use in both her student and professional career.
“He was very inspirational,” said Spears.
At the end of the event Thomas signed books for the audience and Marjorie Herrera Lewis was given flowers from Texas Wesleyan University president Frederick Slabach.