Monday, April 13, 2015

Conflict, Craft, and Finding your Vision!

What’s the one word we keep hearing from all the best writing teachers?
What’s the one thing all of our books MUST have to survive?


And we, as readers, love it! We thrive on the story of someone overcoming the obstacles of their storyworlds and fulfilling their goals. We are hooked by their struggles, cheering them on, and celebrating with them when ‘the end’ comes with beautiful resolution.

But, many times this is NOT the case in our REAL writing worlds.

Conflict doesn’t always  come in with guns blazing like a Mary Connealy novel. Lots of times the most powerful conflicts in our lives are the subtle whispers or ‘unassuming’ doubts.

A dear friend and I were having a conversation about this recently. She has a tender heart, ready to find God’s direction in her life and her writing. The writing world is a tremulous place – a world where comparisons are made, dreams are supplanted, and ‘publication’ seems to be the measure of all that is good.

And I think that’s where a lot of dreams falter through time. Though publication is a wonderful goal, and certainly something many of us would like to see happen at some point in our writing career, when it becomes the standard by which all other things in our writing are measured….we’re inevitably going to become discouraged.

If you’ve lost your vision, try to remember the joy of your writing, before the murky monster of doubt crept in. Go back to the moments of pure creation, for the sake of creation, and remember the God who called you.

My friend said, “If I could have an hour of free time, I’d write.”

That spoke chapters! It proved the call in her life. If the pressures and expectations were removed and all that was left was the dream, she’d write.

I believe that too many times we lose sight of God's call for us to write and get lost on the quest to publication. It is certainly an exciting goal, but not the heart of any Christian writer. God uses us - in our big and small writing- to minister to ourselves, our families, our friends, and others, but most of ALL to glorify Him. I'm pretty sure that all of us struggle with the pressures of productivity.

But real productivity comes from the inner workings of the Holy Spirit as He refines us through whatever means God uses.

My point? To encourage you.

Remember your first love.

Find joy in the journey.
Pepper D Basham is a native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, mom of five, speech-language pathologist, and lover of chocolate. She enjoys sprinkling her native Appalachian culture into her fiction wherever she can. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC, where she works with kids who have special needs, searches for unique hats, and plots new ways to annoy her wonderful friends at her group writing blog, The Writer’s Alley. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of Seymour Literary Agency.
Her debut novel, The Thorn Bearer, arrives on May 7th 2015 in paperback, but can be purchased in digital form on amazon now. Her first contemporary romance, A Twist of Faith, is slated to release later the same year. You can find her at or follow her writing antics on her Facebook page at or Twitter at

1 comment:

Casey said...

This weekend's in Rachel Hauck's class at our ACFW Colorado Springs conference, she defined more clearly for me tension and conflict. Mind. Is. Blown.

I always try to make things harder than they need to be. Haha! :)