Monday, November 7, 2011

What are you seeking? by Linda S. Glaz

What are you seeking when you sit down to write?

Do you write because you have to; like you have to breathe? Because you long for the day when a printed book arrives in the mail with your name on it? (I know, that sounds awesome...)

There's no right or wrong, no good or bad, but what prompts you to sit behind a computer, sometimes for hours and hours pounding away at the keys? I've been told by a few wonderful folks it's to promote God's kingdom and then I read a few of the stories. OUCH! They promoted everything but...And that's okay, just say you're writing to write. Or to make money, or to have people see your name in print. Whatever drives you.

A couple years ago when I was fairly new to inspirational novels, I reviewed one by a "Christian" author. I hoped she might be slightly outside the box, as I love edgy fiction, but edgy in my world, and edgy in hers...hmmm. Big difference. My world of edgy doesn't include enough "private" scenes to make a porn-star happy. YIKES! And it did. Needless to say, I didn't finish that particular review.

What I'm trying perhaps not all that well to say is, just because something has a particular label doesn't make it so. Believe me, I learned the hard way, red face and all. I'm rambling here a bit, so I'm gonna sign off, but think about it...why do you write?

And are you able to admit to yourself, to others, to your readers, why you began in the first place? And why you keep going...


Janny said...

Fame? Fortune? Fun? All of the above. In the order of Fortune first, Fame optional, and Fun, always.

I am a Christian, but I do NOT write to "promote the kingdom of God." That will happen without my puny efforts to put another tract out there. :-) I write to tell a horking good story; I write clean fiction (no porn stars here, thanks); I write fiction that sends a chill up the spine (it is to be hoped) and keeps people up past their bedtime (it REALLY is to be hoped).

And yes, I want that book cover with my name on it. And yes, I want to support myself and a few other people with my writing income. And yes, I dream of seeing my books on the big screen.

And if I didn't write? Hmmm. The question doesn't come up. It's been something I've done since I was a kid, and I don't think I would be "me" without it.

That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.


Timothy Fish said...

One reason I write is to publish. A few years ago, I got interested in the subject of how to get a book published. I happened to find a website on which an author was talking about how he had self-published his book of poetry, for a cost of $99. I thought it sounded like fun, so I picked a subject that I knew quite a bit about and wrote a book. I think it took me three weeks to write the book. It wasn’t long and I had my book in hand.

Another reason I write is because I want to explore the world of the story. I gained insights into the story of Hosea that I don’t think I would have gained had I not written For the Love of a Devil as a retelling of Hosea in a modern setting. It pains me that more people aren’t reading it, but by committing myself to staying true to the plot, I had to spend time figuring out what had happened in Hosea’s life and how that story would unfold today. Even if no one had bought the book, that understanding would’ve been worth the effort.

I also write because I have something to say. I sense that I’m gaining more focus in this area. In some of my earlier novels, all I really wanted was an entertaining story. Though I could tell you would the theme of the story was, I was willing to let the cards fall where they would. But the more I write, the more I find that I am burdened for a particular group of people. I suppose it might be a calling, but I hesitate to call it that because so many Christian authors use that term far too loosely. All the same, I suspect my writing will turn in that direction.

Kathy Cretsinger said...

Most of us want some monetary value from our writing. We have to be honest. I write Christian novels because I am a Christian. I don't care about the sex and trash. I want people to know I believe in God and the Bible. There is way too much trash out there. I want my children and grandchildren to be able to read my books, when they are published, and say, "That's my mom," or, "that's my grandma."

Diana said...

I like the verse that says, Do not muzzle the Ox when he treadeth out the corn. (mentioned three times in scripture: Deuteronomy, Timothy and 1 Corinthians)

A man or woman is worthy of their hire and I for one have no shame in saying I need to pay my bills just like everyone else does. But that I get to do that while being employed in a way that brings me Joy and Great Satisfaction? In my mind, that Brings Glory to God :-)
Happy writing you all!

Robin Bayne said...

I didn't start out writing Christian fiction either, in fact I had never read any before I started writing romance. But when I did discover it, I was awed by the fact I was reading compelling, emotional stories about characters who weren't afraid to mention God! I was hooked then.

Katherine Hyde said...

Linda, right after reading this post I read the following quote, which pretty much says it for me:

Each of us is like a desert, and a literary work is like a cry from the desert, or like a pigeon let loose with a message in its claws, or like a bottle thrown into the sea. The point is: to be heard—even if by one single person.


Timothy Fish said...

Being heard is one thing; what I want is for people to listen.

Jennie Dugan said...

I write because I have to. I shoot for publication, because it's like a Seal of Approval. If you love doing something, it makes sense to want to do it for a living, doesn't it?
My cut-off is that I won't publish anything that would embarrass my husband, children or parents(now deceased). I'm not holier than thou. I just embarrass easily.

Jeanette Levellie said...

I write because I have a mad, wild love affair with words and how they fit together to bring laughter, encouragement, and change. I can't not write. I came out of the womb shouting for a notepad and a crayon; now it's changed to a laptop, and my shouts have turned to songs.

I like the checks I get for my work; I will enjoy seeing my name on a book cover this coming spring; and I want to share my love of God with the world. But those are secondary to my real reason for writing: I'm a shameless addict to this art that makes my heart soar!

Linda Glaz said...

Oh, I so enjoyed this much honesty. I, too, have bills to pay and want to see my name on the book cover. In fact, it gives me chills, but I, too, am happy that anyone could read my book and not blush at the content. I believe that whether the message is subtle or not, God will be pleased if we use our talents for him. I want to be like Janis Joplin, though, and sing. Oh Lord, won't you bring me a nice big fat contract! Is that horrible? For those of you too young to remember, it was a song about a woman using God as a gimme God!

Sharon A. Lavy said...

Writing is my best way of communicating. And at times I don't do that very well. Sigh. But writing is as important to me as breathing.

Getting published would be wonderful, but I can't not write.

Lynda Schab said...

I write for every reason mentioned so far. For money, for notoriety, to communicate, to entertain, to encourage, because I "have to," because I have a love affair with words.

My greatest hope is for readers to walk away with a smile on their face and in their heart. If my story makes them reflect on their relationship with God, or sparks a desire to change or grow, it's the icing on the cake. But that has to come from the Holy Spirit, not me. I would just be honored to be used in that way. :-)