It’s true. And by the way yes, I feel like a special kind of loser to fail at writing Christian books and devotions. Of all things – you think you’re doing a good, right thing and manage to screw it up anyway. Wow, I had to be a special kind of idjit to manage that, right?
Well, maybe not. As it turns out, God has plenty of preachers, teachers, and inspirational writer’s out there. And really, my style is too straight-forward and in your face to really speak to tender souls. It took me a few years to discover it, but it turns out I’m better at working “in the trenches,” side by side with regular folks, and my personality and knack for weaving a tale do fit in better with the fiction market. Truth be told, I like writing fiction better anyway. It’s more challenging, but it’s also a lot more fun. I love these stories. I turn them over in my mind all the time, trying to create just the right characters and put them in just the right world for the plot I have. Once it’s written, I wonder how they’d react to my world. I project them into real life and try to flesh them out and plop them back in the story with a little more meat on their bones. My world rattles and I make their world shake. It’s fun. It’s exciting. There’s nothing like it!
I’ve also found that my fiction work is received much better. It seems people are more receptive to a story when they’re free to take it and fit it in their own world; and that’s fine. I’d say that’s what writing fiction is all about – giving them glimpses of your world and letting them fit it in their own in the best way possible. A great story takes you other places, but imagination based on the reader’s world allows each one to see it differently. Readers have amazed me with their comments on some of the things they saw in my stories; things I didn’t even think about but they were able to see it because of their own experiences. Fiction is as much creative work for the reader as it is for the writer, and in a way that makes it a cooperative effort. Non-fiction tells it to you and you have to take it as is. Fiction opens a range of possibilities and allows the reader to run with it to places that you as a writer didn’t even dream possible. It opens the mind. It opens eyes, not just to your world but to the details of their own that they might miss. A good story lives on after the last page is clicked or turned and follows you back into reality. It makes you see things differently. It makes you imagine more.
So yes, I failed as a Christian writer but that doesn’t mean it was a total failure. I did learn a lot about writing and the publishing industry, so I went into my fiction forays with a great deal of background knowledge and was able to succeed at that much faster than it even took me to find a break in non-fiction. And I took that knowledge to a place where I do belong. Because truth isn’t limited to a genre. It comes through all places.
That’s all today. Happy Friday tomorrow. Have a great weekend.