Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Word To Those Who Love to Write!

9/17/10 -- 9/20/10

I wonder how many of you are out weeding gardens, enjoying the springtime sunshine, shopping, tackling indoor or outdoor jobs, or just plain reveling in a blissfully relaxing Saturday. I, for one, am working, as I didn't quite reach my Monday thru Friday writing goal. While sitting here doing a little research I ran across an ad for a writing conference somewhere in California, but that itself is not the point. What is the point is that in their attempt to attract conferees, they made this statement:

What does the market really want? Reality check time: 50,000 or more in this country are struggling to write first novels. Thousands of manuscripts flood agent and editor offices, but only a few hundred at most will ever be published by a major house. In today's environment, you will face more obstacles than ever. An aspiring author attempting to write the breakout novel must not only create a high concept novel premise that rings with "ca-ching" but must avoid all the common pitfalls in title, hook, early character development, prose craft, and ongoing narrative composition. Sound complicated? Well, it is. Welcome to reality! Writers unable to fulfill the many and picky demands of discriminating agents and editors will be rejected every time, and usually within seconds after reading the first page (or even the first line--no kidding)."

I don't know how accurate the 50K figure is, but if it's true, and only a few hundred actually squeeze through the loopholes and jump the hoops to make it into the publishing industry then no wonder there are so many discouraged writers. (By the way, this conference wasn't a Christian writers' conference—although it would be open to all genres.) Here's the thing, though, let's not limit God and His incredible plans for helping you jump those mountainous hurdles. It's EASY PEASY to give the Enemy a second to whisper in your ear, "You're no good, you have no talent. You don't have what it takes. You can't write near as well as so and so. Who are you fooling by calling yourself a writer?" Etc., etc. Words such as these do NOT come from the Creator, so when you "hear" them, take heed. God doesn't use negative talk!

I say that to say this: yes, writing is hard work, time consuming, challenging, heartrending, and sometimes exhausting, but if your passion for it runs hot, you have a GIFT—and you need to keep plugging, perfecting, and honing. One way to do that is to sign up for the ACFW conference in Indianapolis this September. Beg, borrow, steal (no, don't steal) if you have to, but get there! If you've never been, then you'll be pleasantly surprised and downright amazed by the wide range of classes offered to help you on your journey. This is not just any writer's conference, it's a Christ-centered, God-ordained meeting place where you will rub shoulders with the best of the best as well as beginners. Everyone meets on equal ground, and everyone loves you right where you are. COME! LEARN! PRAY! WORSHIP!


CatMom said...

Hey Shar! What an excellent post--- and just what I needed to read today! (yes, the enemy has been trying to get me down lately *sigh*). The last 2 years when I attended the ACFW Conference, it was absolutely AMAZING!! The Lord used others to reach out to me and touch my life in such wonderful ways, and the friendships I've formed are priceless (not to mention what I learned at all the fabulous workshops!!). And I must add, that's where I got to meet YOU in person! So what if you teased me about my Southern accent, I love you anyway! LOL!! ;) (you know I just had to add that, teehee...). ~ I'm praying about attending this year--it will all depend on how I recover from my extensive spinal surgery in June. But I know the Lord is in control and He will show me what to do! ~ Thanks again for this uplifting post! Hugs and Love, Patti Jo :)

Rob Roush said...


Thanks for your reminder of the challenges, but even more for the encouragement. I remember all too well my first, and to this point only, ACFW conference two years ago. In fact, that is where I met you.

One thing I was most amazed by was the friendliness of all the well established published authors. Everyone made me feel like I belonged there and that my book idea was something special. I'm still working on trying to publish that book, but I know it is much better as a result of the ACFW conference.

Hope to see you there this year!

SHARLENE said...

Hi, Rob. I was so thrilled to read your reply to my post. Thanks so much for commenting. Hey, I WILL be at Indy this year, and I'm so excited about it. This year I have the privilege of serving on the worship team, and I'm humbled. Rob, you keep writing. God has great things in store.

My sweet Patti Jo, please, please recover quickly so you can come this September. It's our chance to sit together at the banquet again...and giggle!!! I'm praying that you experience a supernatural healing following your surgery that will amaze doctors and therapists! GOD CAN DO ANYTHING!

Hugs to both of you!

Anonymous said...

Hey Sharlene,
I know this post is over a week old, but last week I was spending the day with my youngest son's bride-to-be. I was invited to go with Leslie and her mother to pick up Leslie's wedding gown, so needless to say I was nowhere near the internet, nor did I want to be. The big day is getting close (June 5th.) as is an empty nest for my husband and me. I look at it this way, our two sons have now given us two lovely daughters, we just won't all be in the same house anymore.
My novel is over five years in the writing now, so I greatly appreciate the encouragement. Speaking of which, I've just finished reading Abbie Ann, and I think it's my favorite of the daughters seies. Writing that one must have put you through the wringer though - talk about unexpected turns of events. That's all I'm going to say because I don't want to be a spoiler. I just have to ask, did you know the story was going to take that turn, or did your characters just develop a mind of their own? When I'm in the mood for reading about days gone by, I look for something you've written because I think you write the best historical fiction ever. Thanks again for the encouragement.
Blessings to you,
Patti Hayes