Welcome to the blog of author Tricia Goyer!

Friday, May 25, 2007

My Jumble of Thoughts

Who ever said writing was easy? Right now I'm:

1. Reading through the galleys of my second novel in The Chronicles of the Spanish Civil War titled, "A Shadow of Treason."

2. I'm working on a non-fiction project ... writing the teen version of Max Lucado's next book!

3. Working on my third SCW novel, "A Whisper of Freedom."

4. And I have two possibilities to write fiction novels for publishers I've never worked with before, which means I need to come up with writing samples that are (to put it mildly) just plain brilliant so I can knock their socks off!

No wonder it's 1:33 a.m. and I'm having trouble sleeping. My brain is full!

But enough about me. I wanted to talk about some of your comments on the blog.

First, let's talk about self-publishing. My guest writer had some great comments, but I want to point out a few things, too.

1. Sometimes people consider self-publishing after they've received rejection after rejection. The rejections could come because they don't have a broad enough audience for their work. Personal histories or stories with local ties could fall into this category.

But ... sometimes the rejections come because the writing, "just isn't there yet." I'm thankful that years ago I didn't have the drive or the money to self-publish some of the things I wrote. I was a writer-in-training, and though I thought I was wonderful looking back I now see my writing still needed a lot of work.

I've had writer-friends who have self-published and honestly their books weren't bookstore shelf quality. So, now what? They have books they're trying to sell. Who is going to buy them? What bookstores are going to stock them? Why should the bookstores give these books space when there are thousands of new ones every month from publishers who are begging them to stock their stuff? (Just to get you thinking ....)

2. New topic. I've seen from your comments that some of you wonder if it's even worth trying. Should you be writing at all? I mean, there are some many people wanting to write books and the odds seem so slim. My answer?

What is God telling you? It doesn't matter the odds. What is God speaking to your heart?

When I attended my first writer's conference I was 22-years-old and pregnant with my 3rd baby. I had taken some college classes, but I had no degree. (Still don't.) After that, I worked on writing for YEARS with no success. Rejection after rejection after rejection came in the mail.

BUT deep in my heart I knew God called me to this. When I read my Bible He spoke to me. I clung to His promises. He who calls you is faithful, and HE will do it.

Yawn, enough of my rambling for now. I just wanted you to know I am around here, lurking, and thinking.

But ... as a good example to all of you ... I'm also making sure I get my daily writing goals done first. See, I'm only thinking of you :-)


Michelle Gregory said...

To respond to your comments about self-publising (and I appreciate that you're showing both sides of the issue)- "But ... sometimes the rejections come because the writing, 'just isn't there yet.'"

Not to disagree with this statement, because any writer's first works are probably not as good as their later works, and although I think I've written a decent story, I know my writing will improve as I learn more about the mechanics and craft of writing. Something to consider, however, is that maybe some books are rejected because the story is one that the publishers don't want to buy. From what I've read, some publishers are looking for novels that they think people want to read, or that they think will sell. What if the story I have to tell isn't one of those stories?

Granted, there are many self-published novels that are less than stellar and if they aren't, then their sales will probably reflect that fact. But some people who self-publish (myself included) don't want to reach as wide an audience as they might if their novels were picked up by main-stream publishers (and to be honest, the chances of any novel reaching a wide audience are slim at best).

The main reason *I* chose this route was that I want to have a record of my achievement. The fact that I started my novel and perservered was a major accomplishment for me. I almost *didn't* start, and there were countless times when I didn't want to finish. But I knew that I had to finish, and I learned amazing things about myself, and the God who asked me to write, and who encouraged me all along the way.

I've posted this response at my blog and would welcome any comments.


-Michelle Gregory

Tricia Goyer said...


I totally agree with you. There are some amazing stories that publishers aren't interested in ... for various reasons.

When I said, there are some that "just aren't there yet." I mean just there. There are POV problems, spelling errors, and just bad story telling. In those cases people get tired of rejection and don't want to put the time and effort into working at the craft. They self publish ... and then, well, they can't sell the books.

So, if they don't care about people actually reading the books, then that's a fine option. But for those who want to connect with people, then they have to put the time in to learn about writing.

Again, I totally a agree that there are many other reasons for self-publishing. But I just wanted to mention the fact that some people do it because it's easier than studying writing.

Christine H said...

Tricia, I posted a comment last week on this but it wasn't saved for some reason. I just want to thank you for the wonderful encouragement, and also to apologize for being the class whiner! I haven't been feeling particularly "led" or "inspired" in my writing which is why it's been hard not to feel like I'm wasting my time. Although I do feel God telling me in no uncertain terms to keep writing, I'm not confident that this particular project is anything but "busy work" in the long run. I need to keep reminding myself that it's supposed to be enjoyable.

Michelle, I posted a comment on your blog. I think what you are doing is awesome! I think what you are doing is an example of what self-publishing should be and I can't wait to read your book when it's finally ready.

E Bussey said...

Another great post. When I attended my first writers conference over 12 years ago I came away feeling overwhelmed, but ready! I thought I knew what I was doing and I had no doubt God was calling me to write.

Over time, God confirmed the call, but also ask me to be patient and learn. Much of the learning I did over the years wasn't even about writing, but about life.

Many trials, challenges, accomplishments and life learning occured over those 12 years as well as time spent studying writing and devouring scripture.

I'm not sure I really expected to get anything published, it was more like a passion to share with others how wonderful God is. Now that my first devotion is about to be published I look back in amazement at how God has worked through all the preparation for this time in my life.

I am excited to see what plans He has for the future of my writing and simply try to be obedient. It is a daily struggle and a joy all at the same time.