Too often we allow ourselves to be weighed down from reading comments, writing technique books, classes, blogs, and our own critical eye.
In the middle of rifling words onto a screen, this question sneaks into our heads: Will our manuscript e-ver be good enough for publication? Then POP, our enthusiasm and energy is zapped.
We here on the Alley are your cheerleaders!!!
Let's get started.
Dear Jesus, I pray for all who are reading this post. May they sense the thrill in Your very being to help them write the story they are working through. Your word says You joy over us with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17). Each one of us. Individually. Drive away the doubts. Strengthen us as we endeavor to serve You. Amen
Since God has given us the desire to write, it is our duty to stand up to doubts seeping into our words and allow our strengths to show. Imitating others is an easy fall back. We like what other authors write then copy their style. Unfortunately we become expert imitators of another person's writing instead of the unique writers we are meant to be.
Some reasons our work doesn't glitter are:
* We haven't taken enough time to learn the craft
* We didn't write
* We didn't edit
* We didn't write from our soul
* We're afraid readers won't like our story
A contest judge once told a contestant, "It is always better to be more conservative than to add words to impress. In this one section your voice sounded very natural. You bit off a little too much in this other section. Sometimes when you add a lot of extras, it's like unnecessary risks. Famous authors seem to do a lot of things, but they know when to wrangle it in. It is our job to wrangle in what we can do and make it tasteful. Get comfortable with your words, your story. Practice every day. And not just for a few minutes. Strive to become an expert."
The answer is in you. Deep down you know what your manuscript needs for publication. (see the glitter reasons above)
All around us, we see and witness the answers to our writing. God sends the smells, conversations, what makes people laugh/cry, strife, settings, themes, what triggers a gasp, furry, song, silence. God has given us a whole world of answers from the micro to the macro. The variables are endless. All we have to do is write what we know.
Perhaps we have a fear readers will feel disconnected or hate our story because a necessary scene or character didn't agree with her values. Stand strong if the scene is truly needed to move the story forward. Confidence alongside discretion is needed in every word of our manuscript.
Breathe when doubts pull you from your work.
Pray daily for God's blessings and direction for your words.
Strength is crucial and control needs to come effortlessly. I think of Francine Rivers who has drawn many to Christ through her books. Her stories are saturated with reality not theatrics. She never holds back and never takes advantage of an opportunity by including something that should not be in a scene. Her stories are true and powerful, personal, and glorifying to God, drawing His children to a closer walk with Him.
Someday when I grow up, I want to write with the same truth and power. I don't want to imitate Francine, but I want to develop into a writer who can impact many for Christ as she does.
When we write with a heart that is in sync with God and have studied the craft, we will find the answers needed to perfect our manuscript for the intended audience.
The answers are found on the way to publication, through the stumbles, the friends we meet, and the scenic routes God leads us. Go and write for Christ.
So, how can we pray for you?
Do you have a writing question that is bugging you? We can help.
Do you have good news to share. Let us cheer for you!
Let us know in the comment section. Or simply say hi! We love to chat.
Mary has moved to Michigan with her husband, closer to her three college kids. She misses the mountains of Montana, but loves seeing family more often. She writes contemporary and romance Christian fiction, is honing marketing and writing skills, and loves to pen missionary and Bible adventure stories on her ministry blog, God Loves Kids.