Omega Writers

Things I wish I’d known starting out as a Christian writer

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We asked a whole lot of Christian writers what they wish they’d known at the beginning of their writing journey, and here’s what they said.

Resources are out there

When I started, I could have used the services of good editors like Christian Editing Services, The Write Flourish and Apricot Editing. I’ve really appreciated the Omega Writer’s Conference, and all the helpful connections I’ve made there.

Find your tribe, the people who will read your work and give you feedback and do the same for them.

Do the work

It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t rush through it because you’re in a hurry to hold a copy of your book in your hands. Make sure you’ve done everything to make it a version that you and your readers will be happy with.

Writing the first draft is the easy part. Revising and responding to reader reports takes time. Not everyone is going to be a reader, and if someone doesn’t like your writing, then they are most likely not one of the audience God prepared for you.

Writing is 10{f737b0b149ffcca4a906122160e0347433899c5ec679698f540337928dc2ed22} inspiration, 90{f737b0b149ffcca4a906122160e0347433899c5ec679698f540337928dc2ed22} perspiration.

A real assessment of the landscape

I wish I’d known that it doesn’t always have to be completely clean to be ‘Christian Fiction’, that there is some leeway. I don’t just mean in your use of language; I’m thinking of books by authors like Terri Blackstock and Melody Carlson. Even the edgiest of issues can have a Christian spin to them.

Google your name first to see what other authors with your name write.

For Australians specifically, I’d say that if we want to highlight our own country, it would be good to keep in mind that our situation is way different to the authors in America. We have a far smaller population base, with fewer readers of Christian fiction. It might be helpful to start out without expecting that our reach will be ultra-huge. Dreams of supporting ourselves financially with our craft may well be disappointed. But if we stay faithful to our small niche market, they may be a loyal base who stay faithful to us. It’s all about obedience rather than ambitions of fame and fortune.

You probably won’t make a living wage. But write anyway.

About the writing

I wish I’d known more about how to craft a compelling story with a great story arc. You can learn lots of aspects of the craft, but that doesn’t mean that all of those elements will magically make a story. Story first, then polish the prose.

I did formal study as a newbie writer and even though I loved it, the emphasis was on quality prose rather than deep understanding of long-form story structure.

I’d have worked more on planning a clear plot arc and fitting all my never-ending characters and events into it so the suspense does all the right things without getting bogged.

In regards to the writing itself, I would have benefited from a greater understanding of ‘point of view’ and also the old ‘show rather than tell’ issue. Re the writing journey as a whole, perhaps remembering that we can’t expect to please everyone-we all like different books, after all!

Feedback, and perseverance

I read somewhere that writers have to have a sensitive spirit but also the hide of an elephant. Rejection is par for the course!

It’s hard to make teaching not sound like preaching, so write from the heart and find someone who will tell you the truth about your work. And don’t take every piece of feedback on board, your gut feeling is usually the right one.

Persevere. Persevere. Persevere! Rejections are often part of the journey. But do write anyway. There’s no joy like the fulfillment writing brings.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_pinterest][vc_single_image image=”25146″ img_size=”medium”][vc_column_text]Share this on Pinterest[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][/vc_row]