No one is born a published author.
I’ll wait while you slip back into your chair.
Brace yourself, because I’m going to rephrase it: Every published author was unpublished at one time. So how did they eventually get published? What do you think were the common denominators for them?
As an unpublished writer, I’m working hard to study the craft, sharpen my writing skills, and build my “networking” muscles. I’m investing in my writing by entering contests, hiring a freelance editor to edit my just finished book, driving an hour to the closest ACFW chapter, going to conference, buying books, etc…. Why do I do all of this? Because it’s part of the journey.
And there is one thing I know with absolute certainty: I’ll never be published if I give up.
Let me check my calendar/planner…just a second…nope, no plans to give up penciled in anywhere! Nor will I invest a lot of time and effort in whining about how hard it is or how unfair the process can be or whatever else would make for one whale of a pity party. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with venting and snacking on huge amounts of comfort food, or of crying on a trusted friend’s shoulder. But I don’t think any agent or editor would ever say, “I decided to publish that writer’s book just to shut them up.”
What do YOU plan to do to keep pushing for publication? Share your thoughts, please, because your words may just be the encouragement that another writer is needing. Thanks.
The reason that Christian fiction will never die is because truth is eternal. The forms used to express truth may be altered by culture, but the basic “nuts and bolts” of every story are the timeless truths that stay relevant from one generation to another: love, faith, honor, redemption, forgiveness, etc…
Even secular novelists rely on these staples of morality…these elements of a civil society. Most of the time, however, secular novelists are not looking to discover the source of those moral underpinnings. And since they are not seeking to discover that, their readers most likely won’t find them either. At least not in anything more than abstract ideas.
More than just wanting efficiency in the craft of writing, Christian writers hope to honor the God who gave us the truth. We stand upon the Bible, and seek to be faithful. We know our stories are vehicles. But we also know our stories matter on a level beyond this realm. And we know words are not just words…they are powerful tools, entrusted to us by God for the purpose of communicating His redemptive agenda.
Christian fiction will always be relevant because truth will always be relevant.
Writing is the gift that keeps on giving. Or at least it has the potential to do so. I’m not suggesting that everything we write will eventually become a “classic”, but one of the thrills of writing is that when we capture words on paper we might just create a story that will actively outlive us. One that readers will be enjoying years after we have left this life to be with our dear Lord.
The power of the written word is one reason to approach the calling and craft of writing with proper respect. I’m convinced we should write, not just for the “here and now” readers but for the “then and there” readers. I understand the way stories are told changes over time, and being alert to those changes is wise. But the exciting reality is that truth is timeless.
What truths do we believe are important to our generation? What truths do you assume will be needed in future generations?
I’d love to have you take a moment and answer these questions. Thanks.
Filed under reading, Writing
Many of the blessings that have come my way as a writer can be directly credited to other people. In fact the last year and a half have been full of growing experiences because of my association with American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the resources they provide.
- The local chapter (South-Central Kansas chapter meeting in Wichita, KS) has provided monthly fellowship opportunities with other writers. These dear people have become friends, sharing a common bond with me.
- The national ACFW conference which provided friendships that have blessed me over the last year. This year’s conference is only a few weeks away, and if I get any more excited I’ll be bouncing off the walls. Being with other writers who sacrifice time to teach me how to be a better wordsmith is priceless. There truly is a spirit of servanthood among the members of ACFW. They celebrate each other’s successes, and offer a listening ear when someone is struggling. The craft is highly respected, but people are too. It was at last year’s conference that I made friendships that have been so important to me. I can’t wait to see these people again this year!
- THE JOURNAL, ACFW’s new print magazine is another great resource that offers advice and information about the craft and business of writing Christian fiction. I was honored to have written an article for the premier issue.
- THE LOOP of emails that goes out every day of the year provides an opportunity to engage in conversations, ask questions, seek advice, or just “listen in” as others do all of those things.
The above resources mean a great deal to me. However, as wonderful as they are, they take a back seat to the real heroes that provide my most important support system: my wife and kids. They deserve the credit for anything good I write, because they sacrifice so much so I can write. Since I’m a full-time minister (which I love–thanks Gracepoint!), that means I don’t write full-time. I have to carve out time to write in the mornings and evenings. My family sacrifices time with me, allowing me to hunker in my bunker and bang away at the keyboard…or just stare at the screen and mumble whatever yiddish words come to mind (& I’m not even Jewish!). My family takes money from our family budget so I can go to conference & chapter meetings (we live an hour away from Wichita), buy books, get a laptop, etc…, all of which means that they give up something so I can write. They believe in me when I doubt myself. They deserve better than I give them.
Who are the people who have made your writing journey possible? Have you thanked them yet?