I’m here with another Fact or Fiction post, this time geared especially toward the field of writing! No matter what kind of writing you do, this applies to you! To those who don’t write, I hope you learn something about how your favorite books come about! 😉 Let’s hop in!
Claim #1: You Must Write Daily to Be Successful
While it is great advice to write something daily, if you miss a few days, it’s not the end of the world. I am certainly in favor of forming this habit and I try my hardest to write something by hand or on my laptop every day. But guess what? Life happens! I am a ministry kid and there are sometimes when writing just isn’t gonna happen! And that is okay! So, if you miss a few days, a week, even a month, don’t be too hard on yourself. If God puts a book in you, He will give you the perseverance to get it out there in His timing.
Claim #2: You Must Have an Outline to Write a Good Story
While you don’t have to have an outline of your story, this is one of the most crucial things in a story’s development. I wrote The Land of Cotton without an outline, other than a list of chapter titles and let me tell you, it was a big mistake. In my first draft, story lines weren’t finished, characters appeared and disappeared at random and I used three people where I could have used one!
So, take my advice and at least attempt making an outline of your major plot points. You won’t believe how much this will help you! (Click here for more on this topic!)
Claim #3: If You Aren't Traditionally Published, You Aren't a Real Author
Thankfully, this opinion has started to die over the last few years, but for a while, if you were a self-published author, people didn’t take you seriously. But let me tell you, self-published authors have to work twice as hard as traditionally published authors! Traditional publishing requires the author do one thing: write books. (This includes revisions the publisher gives them.) The publisher does the editing, designs the cover, markets and sells to big name book shops, arranges book tours and formats and…yeah, you get the idea.
Self-Publishers have to do it all. I have to write the story, edit the story, find people to edit behind me (thank the Lord for my mom, sister, brother-in-law and grandpa who are far better at English than I am!), design the cover, or get with someone to design it the way I want, advertise and market, actually talk to people to get them to buy my book, set up interviews and book signings (I don’t have an agent…) and then…I have to start the process all over again. So, don’t let anyone ever tell you that self-publishing is the cheater’s way. It’s a hard road to travel!
Claim #4: If I am a Writer, then the Story Will Come to Me Easily
Oh dear, no! Some days, the stories pour out of you and you wonder if you will ever get them written down in time! Other days, you are sure this was one of the biggest mistakes you ever made in your life! I’m currently at a stand still with my draft of book 5 in The Battle for Heritage Series. It’s frustrating. It’s annoying. And it makes me feel silly. I mean, I’ve published 4 books, written 7 and have tentative outlines for several more. Why can’t I get this story on paper? There are many answers to this question, but it would take too long to explain here. Keep in mind, every writer has had those days when getting the words out was hard. Take a break, reread what you have and plow on through; eventually, you’ll get back on track!
Claim #5: Anyone Can be a Writer
Okay, so technically, this is a fact, but I beg to differ. I believe that while anyone can be a writer, many shouldn’t be. *Thinks of a list right now…* It’s not necessarily because they aren’t talented (though that can be the case sometimes), but because they are not writing books with good intent. Horror stories should never be written. Books that glorify sin should never be written. Books that lie should never be written. Get what I’m saying? When you think about it, unless the book can be used for God’s honor and glory, it probably shouldn’t have been written. I read historical fiction and while I’ve found some clean, well-written, non-Christian works, it saddens me to know the book had so much potential but fell short of what it could have been. I loved Sophia’s War, but I would have loved it even more if the book had shown me the struggle that went on in Sophia has she tried to follow God and rest in His plan for her life. Or what if when Nancy Drew got stumped in her mystery, she stopped to pray, and God sent the answer her way, instead of her brilliant mind? See what I mean?
I hope this post has been a help to you! Have a blessed day!
Christian. American. Southern. Author.