October 27, 2015

Understanding What Kind Of Writer You Are & Learning To Accept It

A lot of self-discovery has happened through the course of writing The Church In The Wildwood. I approached it thinking I was going to write the kind of book I usually read. If you go to my NaNoWriMo page you'll still see it categorized where I originally envisioned it sitting - thriller/suspense.

It is not a thriller, nor is it particularly suspenseful. There is some mystery but nothing like I thought it would hold.

And that's okay.

The story that came out is the story I was meant to tell.

But there were two surprises...

1. Heavy religious undertones. I don't want to be classified as a Christian author. An author who writes Christian fiction is much different than a Christian who writes fiction. Do you understand what I'm trying to say? I have many feelings about Christian fiction and few of them are good. I DO NOT want to be on the Christian Fiction shelf. I do not want to be put in a box that makes me squirrelly. I do not want to be held accountable to a gospel message. I want to tell a story without the restraint of Biblical shackles. 

Let me be clear: I have a solid faith in which I'm firmly planted. I am proud of my beliefs and I stand by and for them and yes, they inform my writing because they are part of who I am BUT they will not define my writing.

However, there are parts of my book in which, when reading it, I sat back and thought, 'Holy moly -  I'm preaching!'

Except I wasn't. My character was.

And then I remembered the way Samuel L Jackson quoted Ezekiel in Pulp Fiction and I suddenly felt okay about it all.

{And - oh my goodness - I don't why I was so surprised...
I mean, my novel is titled The CHURCH In The Wildwood.}

2. Romance. Yuck! Ew! Gross!* No! I DO NOT want to be a romance writer but, for whatever reason, these tender, beautiful...yes, even sexy...moments came out of me in the course of writing AND I JUST COULDN'T FIGURE OUT WHAT WAS GOING ON!!?!!

I do not read romance. It makes me roll my eyes. Plus - those covers - UGH! Since when does a topless man define a woman's ticket to happiness?

If I ever publish a book with a topless man on the cover you have my permission to hold a burning party. I'll even come if you invite me! I'll light the first match! {And then I'll cry but that's about me - not you.}

I bemoaned my fear on social media and my baby sister talked me off the ledge with a text message that saved my life - "You're not a romance writer, you're a romantic writer."

And I can live with that.

Maybe I'll never write the psychological thriller I wish I had in me - or the exciting apocalyptic zombie/vampire saga that would punch Amazon's numbers through the ceiling - but I will write the stories I do have in me and I'll do it proudly, without apology, with the voice I've been given.

And without a topless man.

I promise.

*To all writer's of romance - I mean no offense. Good for you if you're writing what makes you happy. {And what obviously makes millions of women around the world happy too.} You're doing it! Write on! Writing and reading tastes are subjective. Everyone likes different things. Just because it's not my cup of tea doesn't mean it's unworthy. You're amazing and brave and deep down I really admire you - we could just never have lunch together...I'd be blushing...imagining that scene you just wrote...about the topless man... 

{click the image above to see all the #write31days posts}
Share This:    Facebook Twitter


  1. I loved everything about this post Your disclaimer made me LOL ;)

  2. Love it. Lol its so funny how what comes out isn't what you planned, it's quite fascinating actually how that happens.
    Haha I feel like I shoud make you a new cover with a top less man though... hair blowing in the breeze and maybe a scantily clad woman clutching his leg... lol. Cause that would suit your title so much better.

  3. Yes. Yes. Yes. #1 partularily. So often Christianity is either Straw-manned (Secular) Or Super-manned (In Christian). Or it's completely ignored. I want to write something that will get people to chew on certain themes. I don't know how to do that perfectly. I'm wrestling with all this kind of thing. And, I've been getting the impression your up-coming work may be trying to do the same things (Feel free to correct me if I'm way off base) and I look forward for when it comes out.

    1. Yes - I totally want to challenge people. I want to provoke thought and conversation and push people to own their opinions but I want to do it in a way that 'shows and doesn't tell'. It's fascinating to wrestle through some of that - finding the perfect balance between my own values and being true to the story. It's a good struggle though - it forces me to really examine myself and learn what I want out of the whole experience.

  4. Thank you for this! I've been trying to categorize the story in my head before it's even birthed and your words have just freed me from those shackles. So, my story may not unfold exactly the way I imagined it but it will be exactly the story I need to tell. Ah, freedom. I'm going to be simmering on these words for while.

    1. I'm so glad to hear this resonated with you! Believe me, I know how hard it is to get out of my own way - to set aside fear - to be true to the story. I think learning to do that is the true key to unlocking your real inner story-teller! Cheers to freedom! May it follow you on your story journey!

  5. I get you girl. I'll admit. Your steaming scenes even surprised me. Maybe it's the mystery woman at the coffee shop breaking out of her shell? Can't keep her hidden and buried forever!

    Long live Fabio!

    1. Fabio? Gross! (Ha!)

      Yes, perhaps it is the long hours of coffee shop mystery that have pulled this steam out of me ;) And...with the Canadian weather we're experiencing today...I could use a little steam!

    2. Fabio is gross. And I hope for your sake, your hubby is reading these comments!

  6. I actually love that your story took you on a journey as a writer. Imagine what it will do for us as readers?!

    There is a huge difference between a romance novel and a story with romance in it. A lot of great books have love stories entwined in the story but that is not THE story.

    1. You're right! Thank you! I need to remember that


I love comments and I appreciate, consider and read each one. I welcome your thoughts, whether you're in agreement or not; however, this website is a happy place and I will remove any comment that I believe to be inappropriate, malicious or spam like.

Blog Archive

Thanks for visiting!

Follow by Email