I received an email from Xulon Press, a Christian self-publishing company, which I signed up with a year or two ago while helping a client decide whether to self-publish or go the traditional publishing route.
Sometimes I don’t open the emails; sometimes I skim them. This time I read the message, which was by Donald Newman, Director of Acquisitions at Xulon. He wrote the following, which are good points for anyone thinking of writing a book and not sure if they should go about it.
If that describes you, you might find it an interesting read as well …
- I believe that just about everyone has at least one book inside of them. I used to think it was only the big names that could write a book, but year after year I see great books, meaningful books, make their way into the world.
- I believe that you can never fully know who will read your book one day. It might just be your own great grandchildren or it might be the president of a nation. I doubt that John Bunyan ever thought or knew how many people would ultimately read Pilgrims Progress.
- I believe that while a speaker can impact a crowd, an author can impact generations. I have the book that my great, great uncle wrote. Is Life Worth Living was taken from his sermons on Ecclesiastes and that book has touched my life and the lives of my children.
- I believe that some of the greatest Christian books are written by people who have made their own share of mistakes in life. The real game changers, the page turners, the books that touch us in the deepest parts of our heart are books that were written by real people just like us.
- … [S]omewhere inside you lies a book that someone will need to read one day. I don’t know who that “someone” will be, and you may not either, but the Lord does. Whether it is a grandchild or a hurting person who needs encouragement, someone is going to want your book.
Is it time to write your book?
Please get in touch if you need help with organizing your thoughts, or editing your story.
Today I’m thankful for little disappointments. Because they are not bigger; they aren’t the end of the world. Because it’s not really all that bad.
I had been revising my novel, working to revise the fourth draft, in order to complete it in time to enter a writing contest before the deadline. It was the primary reason that I didn’t hit the 50K nanowrimo goal. And I did it! Five hours before the contest closed, I submitted my novel.
I heard back today that they had to cancel the contest as they did not receive enough submissions. I was, ever-more-than-slightly, disappointed.
I told my husband about my disappointment. Right away he told me that at least it was ready for the next step, getting a few more critiques before working on the fifth (and hopefully final) draft before taking a step toward publication.
I told my daughter and she, at nine years old, immediately said something about God having a plan in it.
I told my sister and she said it wasn’t time wasted.
They are right.
It wasn’t time wasted. It wasn’t even money wasted. God does have a plan. And it is more reader-ready than it was a month ago.
And that’s why I’m thankful for little disappointments. Because, in reality, they probably shouldn’t be seen as disappointments at all … but stepping stones.
Words Written on Day 29: 4,700
Total Words Written for NaNoWriMo: 32,781
Rounding the final bend as far as time. Finish line not quite in sight although the timer is about to ring. Maybe I’m more of a marathon runner than a sprinter.
But it has been an interesting journey this past month, with a few lessons learned and a few friends gained.
A couple things I’ve learned on the NaNoWriMo journey?
1. You can’t force inspiration.
On days when the creativity refuses to flow, I can polish things already written or fill in the gaps, but on certain days, forcing my brain to come up with something amazing just doesn’t happen.
2. No plan is fool-proof, but it’s still a good idea to make one.
I didn’t make a writing plan this month. With a full college schedule (and nearing the end of the semester), a variety of editing jobs, as well as other priorities, it was difficult to make any sort of comprehensive plan for writing. But you know what they say about general goals without specific plans to back them up. (And if you don’t, just google “awesome quotes about setting goals … you’ll get the idea.)
3. The best stories take a while to tell.
Some people might beg to differ, but for the most part, it’s true. A storyline I have been working on (obviously not actively) for the past 10 years is the most complex story I have. As it has been slowly developing over a long period of time, I keep getting new ideas and nuances and details about the characters. I’m very excited about the prospect of writing it (hopefully early next year).
And of course, the very best story is only in its beginning page. Perhaps only in the title page … it’s hard to say. But as we are all characters in the vast and overarching tale, the decisions we make, the part we choose to play, and the stories we tell in the great telling, all make a difference in that Story.
The Greatest Story Ever Told.
Words Written on Day 26: 1,034
Total Words Written for NaNoWriMo: 28,081
Okay, so in the spirit of full disclosure, I’m going to admit one of the reasons my progress through nanowrimo has been rather unimpressive over the past week or so. I’ve gotten distracted with another writing project.
I finished the first draft of my first novel early this year. After my husband read it and gave me some suggestions, I revised it and sent it out to a number of friends and acquaintances, after which I went through it a third time. Then I didn’t touch it for five months. Let it settle a bit. I’m creating the fourth draft now. It’s amazing how many issues you notice after a five-month sabbatical from a story.
Why is it suddenly a priority when nanowrimo should obviously take precedence? Here’s the confession. I’m hoping to enter a writing contest. The deadline is the second of December. Yes, four days from now. I’m up to page 200 of 388. (Do you remember that thing I said the other day about writers not being quite normal? I was referring to decisions such as this.)
I had almost decided to let the contest deadline pass, but I was talking to the kids about it, and they all told me I had to enter because I would win. Yes, I know a child’s faith in a mother is probably one of the strongest natural elements in existence. But, hey, it doesn’t hurt to try.
Okay, so it might hurt a bit. There’s the cost of entering the contest. And there’s the issue of badly bruised ego if all I get in return is a scathing critique. But even that, if it serves the purpose of creating a stronger story, is worth it, right?
I would appreciate any prayers and happy thoughts over the next four days as I race toward that deadline, as well as the deadline of National Novel Writing Month. (Shouldn’t there be a dash between “novel” and “writing”?)