So You Think You Know Books 1. Who was the youngest author on the New York best seller list? 2. What are the pen names of David Cornwall and Alfred Wight? 3. Dr. Seuss had best sellers on the fiction and non-fiction NY Times’ list. (True or false?) 4. Who holds the record for the
Find Your Why
“Why do we write?” moaned my writing pal. “Why do we write when there is no market for our books?”
She didn’t really like my answer and I guess I didn’t really like giving it either.
“We write because God asks us to use our gift and our gift is writing.”
You guessed it. She didn’t like the answer. Maybe that is your thought too.
Here are explanations from other authors who struggle in exactly the same way we do.
Chances are good if you are a writer or have ever considered writing as a career or avocation, you’ve had some of the following fears:
- People will see what a bad speller I am, and terrible at grammar to boot.
- What I write will show me up as simple, unsophisticated, boring, etc.
- I’ll work long hours on a story or article only to find it’s all for nothing; my work will never sell.
- I won’t find an agent.
- What I have to say will get lost in all there is to read.
- The market is already saturated with writers; there isn’t room for another novelist (essayist, apologist, Bible teacher, devotional writer, etc.).
For many writers I know, summer is a time for slowing down, relaxing their schedules, or even taking a writing hiatus altogether. Not so for me. As a public school teacher, summer vacation is my time to ramp things up.
Inevitably, I set pretty lofty goals for myself. While I don’t always meet every objective, I usually do get a lot accomplished during the summer. However, I read a book recently that made me take a good long look at my preferred mode of operation.
Sometimes life gets crazy busy. I know. I know. That’s an understatement.
However . . .
If we’re going to actually write (and not just dream about “someday”), we have to carve out some time. Here are a dozen suggestions on how to do so:
My wife and I occasionally have a cooking date. Instead of going to a movie or having dinner out, we spend our date in the kitchen, making a fabulous appetizer, preparing a fancy dessert, or cooking a meal so complicated and work intensive my wife would never cook it for the family on her own. It is fun to work together. I learn the basics of cooking and she gets to be the chef and tell me what to do. Eventually we eat something delicious. Joy all around.
The Christmas season has come and gone and the New Year is upon us. My non-literary life has been busy, but I can’t come up with any more reasonable excuses to take time off from the hard work of writing, so I’ve been crafting guest blogs for various sites I’ve committed to.
I thought I’d slip a few posts in early, scheduling them for later this month. To my surprise, there were a number of posts already scheduled for three and even four months in advance. So that’s how the professionals do it.
We just started a writers’ group, and more than half of the folks in attendance haven’t written a word. They don’t even journal. I’m not sure they even do a grocery list. However, in our breakout session, every one of them asked the same question.
“How can I find a publisher for my book?”
I wanted to scream, but you would have been proud of my tact. I spoke gently into their expectant faces. “Book? You have no book! You don’t even have three lines on paper. You don’t need a publisher yet!”
Does anyone else have a closet full of impulsive good intentions? I used to rush out to buy the materials for a new craft I wanted to learn, or fabric for another quilt. I signed up for a class or bought a novel I’d always wanted to read, but because I didn’t make time for the projects, I never sewed a stitch or read a line. And that is the end of it. Or is it? May I mention the guilty feelings that attacked me whenever I spotted the undone things of my life? The more clutter in my house, the less productive I am.