It starts with an idea or a question. An object, a person, a place, or perhaps something you heard makes you wonder. What happened? Why is it here? How did they become who they are, what if . . . and so on. And if you let your mind take off down that road to discovering the answers, you’ll find a story. Sometimes the story is true, other times it creates itself. But you must get the story out. You must write it down before you forget. You’re a writer.
But if you’re a Christian writer, you want your story to be God-inspired so that it can be encouraging, uplifting or enlightening. There’s a reason, a truth, a lesson to be learned in the story. Like Jesus used parables, stories, to teach truths, so we hope our stories will do the same. So you pray for direction, and you write, and as you write, those truths are revealed to you. But is our writing just for ourselves? Or is it meant to be shared so others can benefit?
So you think it should be shared. But how? You need help getting your story out to others. This is when you learn about networking – connecting with others who can help. You must tell others your story so they’ll see why it should be shared. You pitch (tell a very brief version) an agent or an editor, hoping they’ll understand, they’ll appreciate, they’ll “get” your story.
And this is where the process becomes confusing or frustrating. Because not everyone will relate to your story the way you’d hoped. One might say, “It needs more romance.” Another might say, “We’re not interested in stories about that subject.” Still others will tell you, “The trend is toward a different type of story.” So what happened? Didn’t God inspire you to write the story? Why doesn’t everyone else see the need for it to be published?
You’re faced with a decision, a choice to be made. Do you change your story and rewrite it so it will please that agent or that editor? Or do you try to make it fit the latest trend? Do you try to please others to be accepted by them? And if you don’t want to change your story, do you sulk, get depressed, or even give up because nobody else likes what you’ve written?
It all boils down to the reason for your writing in the first place. As a Christian writer, you wrote what you felt God inspired you to write. As individuals with different backgrounds, experiences, and interests, we will not all be led to write the same stories. However, if you feel comfortable with writing the types of stories that a certain agent or editor is looking for, and you believe God will inspire you in these as well, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t. But if you prefer to stick with your own preference, then you must accept the fact that your writing might not get published.
Ultimately, we must remind ourselves that our writing is not just to please ourselves, nor is it to please others. It is to please God, and trust Him with the results.
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10