Phil. 4:8 (NIV) Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.
The words are so simple, but hold so much wisdom. As a writer, I try to absorb everything I can about technique and style. The do’s and don’ts of the writing and publishing world can be mind-boggling, and often full of contradiction. I find myself beating my head against the wall trying to please some unknown force…not the best things to fill my head.
Sometimes, I have to take a step back. Sometimes I forget what brought me to writing in the first place.
When I was ten years old, I entered my school’s poetry contest, and won first place. It wasn’t much, just a blue ribbon, but it was the little push I needed to believe in myself. The poem was called “God’s Creation.” (Believe it or not, you could write poems about God in public school. Yeah… times have changed.)
Seems most everyone who has ever been published has advice, and a lot of it is contradictory. So who do you believe? The guy who writes sci-fi and fantasy who says the first page should throw the reader into the story, or the one who writes mystery who likes the slow burn that leads to an edge-of-your-seat climax.
Even within my own family there is differing opinion. My husband would never read women’s Christian fiction, my children wouldn’t read anything that isn’t fast-paced sci-fi, and I wouldn’t read either of their choices.
My point is this: we all have to remember who we’re writing for. Do you journal? I think that’s great. Do you write fantasy? More power to you. Do you write comedy or farce? That’s hysterical. But who do you write FOR? Who is your audience? Is it an audience of thousands or just an audience of One?
I think once we figure that part out, than the rest will fall into place. As I’ve written before in I Might Never Get Published, the odds of getting published are statistically not in my favor. But I’m okay with that, even if it means I have to occasionally remind myself of that fact.
Not every story is meant for every reader. But I’m grateful for the readers I have.
So I will fix my eyes on whatever is lovely, and right, and noble, and I will fill my head with those things. Life seems to fall into place much better when I do.