Friday, June 20, 2008

Creston Mapes (Advice for Novelists, Part 55)

For those new to this blog, this is part 55 of a series we're conducting here in which editors, authors, agents & publicists all respond to the question:

"If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?"

All the posts can be read by following this link.

Today multi-published novelist Creston Mapes responds:

For me, although I feel "called" to be one of God's story-tellers, writing fiction is the most difficult kind of writing I do. For 25 years I've made my living writing marketing materials, news, and magazine stories—projects that I'm "in-and-out" in anywhere from a day to a week. That work comes easy for me. Writing books is a whole different monster. It zaps my energy and leaves me feeling spent. It drains me physically and somewhat mentally, because it does not pay hardly anything, unless you develop quite a large following of readers. I guess I thought that when I got my first 3-book contract I was "on my way." But the truth is, that contract was only the beginning of the challenges. This business—oh and remember that, it IS a business—is not for the faint hearted. However, if God has sewn that hunger in your heart to deliver his message through story, you will not be able to deny it. You will write without contracts. You will get hit with rejections and shake them off, knowing you were called for this. You will read and go to conferences and improve your craft.

I would also say this...don't write to gain glory for yourself. That is an easy trap in which to fall (especially once published). Instead, write to gain glory for God, while you learn to take a quiet, humble, meek back seat. That, too, I have had to learn the hard way—and am still learning.

--Creston Mapes, author of Nobody and the Dark Star Chronicles. Visit him online at his website here.

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