Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Why Write?

By Debby Giusti

Today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent, a time leading up to Easter and the joyous celebration of Christ’s resurrection. During the next forty-plus days, many Christians will focus their minds and hearts on Christ and the love He preached. In doing so, some will practice acts of self-sacrifice, others will spend more time in prayer and scripture study, while still others will find new ways to reach out to those in need. No matter which path or paths are taken, the end result is a return to the basic gospel message.

Just as Christians use Lent to return to the basics and ensure they’re living in accord with the gospel, so too should writers take time on a regular basis to reassess their work and the reasons they write.

Financial gain motivates some writers. Single mom Iris Johansen scribbled stories longhand as she waited in the car while her children attended their after-school activities. She had a full-time job but needed additional income to support her family, and that financial need pushed her to produce. Once her first book sold, Iris kept up a steady pace, publishing four to six category romances each year, until she broke into single title and eventually hit bestseller status.

Journalist Terry Kay took a year off from the newspaper where he worked to write fiction. As the end of his self-imposed deadline approached without a saleable manuscript to show for his efforts, Terry’s supportive wife suggested he get away on his own for a few days. Checking into a local motel, Terry wrote the beginning of a story that attracted an editor’s attention and eventually sold. His debut, The Year the Lights Came On, was published in 1976. Considered a leading Southern voice in literature, Kay says he is one of approximately 300 authors in the U.S. who support themselves with their writing so financial remuneration continues to be an important reason for why he writes.

Some write because they have a story that needs to be told. Margaret Mitchell comes to mind. Although she wrote only one book, Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind attracted worldwide attention and continues to live on as a classic. Harper Lee also achieved acclaim for her only novel. To Kill a Mockingbird, published in 1960, won the Pulitzer Price for Fiction and is still studied in high school literature classes throughout the United States.

Writing can be the stepping stone to success that comes from a different direction. A friend of mine—stuck in a dead end position—longed to quit her day job. She published three category romances and seemed to have a good writing career ahead of her. Then a new position opened up in her company. She applied, landed the job and stopped writing. Her main aim had been to find a satisfying job. Once she achieved that goal, she no longer needed to write.

Another friend, a wonderfully talented writer, stopped writing when her husband retired and they moved to Florida. Her days are now filled with ventures that include her husband and their new coastal lifestyle. Writing was a stopgap for her until her husband retired.

Julia Cameron talks about “shadow artists,” who work in jobs associated with a certain art form, such as publicists or editors or agents who work with authors. Often their careers encompass both the art and the “shadow” industry, with the art serving as a springboard to the real work they are called to do.

Those of you who were at ACFW last year may remember Debbie Macomber’s moving story of growing up with dyslexia. Ridiculed for her learning disability, she was told by many people, including teachers, that she would never read or write. Of course, Debbie proved them wrong and admits her desire to do so motivated her to publish.

For Christians, writing can be a ministry. The Lord has gifted them with talents they want to use for good and to build up the kingdom of God. Targeting Christian publishers allows them to explore the basic fundamentals of faith and proclaim the Good News through their writing.

At the beginning of my writing journey, I focused on the phrase “to touch readers’ hearts” as the steam that propelled my writing engine. Over the last few years, I’ve come to realize the pain many people carry and believe that, in order for my stories to resonate with readers, I need to create characters who struggle as well. The misconceived perceptions my characters hold onto concerning their past pain--whether physical or emotional--must be significant and inhibit them from accepting love from others and from God. When, in the course of the story, my hero or heroine triumphs over adversity, my readers—hopefully--realize God is more powerful than any conditions with which they may struggle in their own daily lives.

In addition to spiritual themes of God's unconditional love, mercy and forgiveness, I’m also including universal truths such as how power corrupts and man’s inhumanity to man. Because of my concern for our country in these difficult times, I sometimes touch on world problems, couched in a fictional tale where good always triumphs over evil.

I’ll continue to evaluate my writing in the years ahead to ensure I’m on the path I’ve been called to walk. What about your writing journey? Do you know what motivates you to work long hours, face rejection and yet still write? If so, I hope you’ll share those reasons with us today.

Anyone who includes his or her email address along with a comment will be entered into a drawing for a copy of my February release, Killer Headline.

Need prayer or want to join the Cross My Heart Prayer Team? Stop by my new prayer blog:

Wishing you abundant blessings,
Debby Giusti


Vince said...

Hi Debby:

I noticed that for the first time a Love Inspired Suspense novel was available in large print! I ordered it and it is the first book in the “Protecting the Witnesses” series. Do you know if your book, “Killer Headline” will also be chose to be available in large print? I hope.

I went to your prayer web site. It’s a good thing you are doing. I always call Unity for prayers and it’s a great comfort. Bless you and keep up the good work.


Mary Connealy said...


Camy Tang said...

Vince, I think that most Love Inspired books are available in large print, but finding them in stores can be tough. Most of the time I only see them online.

Also, you can buy them as ebooks and make the font GARGANTUAN on your computer (like I do...) to make up for failing eyesight.

Mary's alive!!!! She's alive!!!!

Good post, Debby! You know, I've noticed a consistent spiritual theme in all my books--it usually involves a character completely surrendering to God. I think because that was a significant milestone in my own spiritual walk. I want to nudge my readers to surrender all aspects of their lives--their fears, hopes, plans, etc.--to God's will, and then see how marvelous He makes them.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Deb Giusti.

You've outdone yourself. Seriously. Absolutely. Beautifully.

What a lovely, thought-provoking post, a heart-to-heart with the Debster.

I love it, girlfriend.

I write for women. Their hearts, their souls, their needs, their longing to fill that God-sized vacuum within.

Even in my snarkier characters, there's a thread of neediness that must get answered by faith and inspiration.

Despite their vocal resistance, LOL!

A woman's role in society has so many facets, and women guilt themselves over EVERYTHING so I try to smooth the way toward warmth, humor, love and redemption.

And romance. Faith in God and a good man by your side solve a great deal of life's tangibles and intangibles. :)

Lent. Fasting. Sacrifice. Forgiveness.

I brought coffee. Light breakfast today. Toast, eggs, juice.

But I did bring sweet cream for the coffee. And tea.



Debby Giusti said...

Hi Vince,
Since Martha Perry's book, Twin Targets, was released in large print, I feel fairly certain the entire continuity will be as well. The Love Inspired stories have been in large print for some time, but you're right, I've never seen a suspense released that way. Thanks for letting me know!

Of course, many LIS are published by Thorndike in large-print hardcover, which are sold mainly to libraries. Unfortunately, they're quite expensive.

Thanks for checking out my prayer blog. I kept "getting" that I needed to have a place people could mention prayer requests...especially for folks who might not be surrounded by a loving, praying church community. The Cross My Heart Prayer Team is a great group, who pray often, and will lift up the requests to the Lord.

Debby Giusti said...

Hi Mary,
Glad you are back home and at your computer!!!

We'll stay tuned for more Mary input!

Janet Dean said...

Thought provoking post, Debby. I found the examples of authors' motivations to write interesting.

Like you, I want to show my characters' struggles and the victory they find in obedience to God. The themes I'm drawn to are forgiveness and unconditional love.

Coffee's ready!

Welcome back, Mary!


Debby Giusti said...

Hi Camy,
That complete surrender is key, isn't it? You and I are on the same page. I take away everything my characters have ever held onto for support. When they have no place else to go, they realize their need for God.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Great Post Debby, As always. smile I can hardly wait to read KILLER HEADLINE. Your writing is so intense and exciting.

I started writing when I was a teacher. We were in a program with Arizona State University and told that if we were going to teach kids to write, we needed to write so we were assigned to write during the summer.

"What do we write?" we asked. "Write what you love to read."

Romance of course .In those days, I read a category a day and mainstream on the weekends.

So I started a novel and fell in love with writing. Many of my students went on to win writing awards. So that was a strong motivation for me.

There is a saying. If you want to learn something, teach it.

Waving at Mary

Debby Giusti said...

Hi Ruthy,
Thanks, dear, for providing breakfast, coffee and tea!!! I'm on my second cup!

Isn't it wonderful how each of us has a unique reason to write? Just as each person is different so too are the reasons. How boring if we were all the same. But how delightful to find books that reflect the diversity in our lives.

Love your comment about women feeling guilty about everything! So true. I find women, especially young moms, rarely take time for themselves. They need to ensure they're cared for so they can care for those they love.

Cindy W. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debby Giusti said...

Hi Janet,
God's unconditional love and forgiveness are universal themes, aren't they? Bet if we looked at every Christian work of fiction, those two constants would be found in each story.

Cindy W. said...

Hi Debby,

I just read an older book of yours, "MIA: Missing in Atlanta" and fell in love with your writing.

Please enter me into your drawing for a copy of your new book.

God Bless You,
Cindy Woolard


- or -


Debby Giusti said...

Oh, Sandra, I can see you in the classroom, pouring out all that love and acceptance onto the children. No wonder they excelled!!!

What an interesting way to start your writing career by hoping to help others. Smart prof who encouraged you to write.

You read a book a day and a larger, single title on the weekends. Plus worked full time? Oh my gosh! So how many RITA books are you reviewing this year? Maybe 25???

Debby Giusti said...

Hi Cindy,
You're so sweet!!! Thanks for the comment about my writing. Yes, you're in the drawing for KILLER HEADLINE.

Janet Dean said...

Thought provoking post, Debby. I found the examples of authors' motivations to write interesting.

Like you, I want to show my characters' struggles and the victory they find in obedience to God. The themes I'm drawn to are forgiveness and unconditional love.

Coffee's ready!

Welcome back, Mary!


Melanie Dickerson said...

I'm always thinking about this, Debby. I write partly because I just love it and it makes me feel like myself. I am also writing because we need some extra income and I'd rather eat dirt than get a job! (Did I just admit that? Ha.)

I love the idea that my writing could touch people's lives and draw them closer to God. That is the ultimate reason to write, for me. And I have this need to write in order to entertain people and make them feel something. It's kind of unexplainable.

Missy Tippens said...

Great post, Debby! In the beginning, I just loved to read so much and decided I wanted to try writing as well. Then the more I did it and the more I learned about writing (and enjoyed it!), I realized I wanted to make a career out of it. I prayed (and had my ladies Bible study praying) that I'd be able to make money with my writing--to be able to work at home so I could continue to stay home with my kids.

I've found I tend to write one character who has shut God out of his/her life because of something that's happened in the past, because he/she thinks God must not care. It's what I went through after experiencing a miscarriage. I want to show what I learned--that God was there with me all along. I've also found I often use a theme of forgiveness. I always seem to learn something new in the writing process. God uses it to teach me and mold me!

Great post, Debby! And Mary's back!!! :)

Edwina said...

Hi Debbie,
Great post today! I think we all need to step back occasionally and review why we write - to confirm that we are where we need to be, doing what God has called us to do.

BTW, I was in my doctor's office last week and picked up a copy of Fayette Woman. Imagine my surprise when I saw an ad for Debbie Guisti in the back. I had no idea we were neighbors - I live in Newnan (my doctor is in PTC.)

Please enter my name:


Dianna Shuford said...

Very encouraging post, Debby! I needed the encouragement.

I think for me the desire to write has always been there, but when I had a poem published in high school that did it. Seeing my name in print increased my desire to write. Sidelined by family and college and work that desire was put on hold, but 6 yrs. ago I allowed that desire free reign once more. And, of course, great ladies like yourself are the ones God put in my path to cheer me on when things get difficult.

Keep turning out your great stories, Debby. I love reading them.

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

What a beautiful and timely post and it so resonates. Those things that are stamped in our hearts usually do involve the journey to triumph, not just the joy.

I have found that selling a book was anticlimatic if considered alone. The journey however, that gives real pause. I am proud of the example I set as never giving up and believing that the seed put in my heart would eventually harvest.

Kav said...

I'm such a newbie -- I've never even thought of analyzing why I write -- I just do.

I was the kid in class who loved they even call it that now? I wrote and wrote and wrote...even wrote my 'memoirs' when I was twelve! What a hoot!

I had a bit of success fresh out of high school and then LIFE got in the way and my self-confidence took a beating. I still wrote, but secretly and never told anyone! It took years to get up the gumption to join a writing group and actually let someone else read my stuff.

Reading this blog has made me realize that defining the 'why' might just help me move forward on my writing journey.

Mia said...

Loved this thought-provoking post, Debby!

I think I write for a lot of reasons. I write because I simply love it, and feel it's almost a part of myself. In stressful weeks of writing, when I wanted to pull my hair out, I'd say I wasn't going to write anymore. And then a few days later I missed it so much, I'd return to the story :)

I write for God, because I feel He wants me to touch people with my writing, to spread the message of God's unconditional love.

I write because it's almost therapy at times. I rarely cry or throw a screaming fit... I tend to stuff my emotions inside. So writing is a way of venting about the emotions I'm feeling, the pain I'm going through.

I think I could probably list a dozen reasons for why I write, but the above are the main ones ;)

Casey said...

Thanks for the post! My writing journey is just taking baby steps. I haven't submitted, and am still trying to truly understand writing. But I keep writing, because I find joy in it and I really enjoy working on my writing (most of the time! LOL!) Plus I believe God wants me to write, so I do. Whom am I to argue? :)


Julie Lessman said...

WOW, Deb, like Ruthy said, what a beautifully thought- (and heart-) provoking message today!

Why do I write? Gosh, I wish it was more noble or altruistic like some of the other comments here, but I basically began writing because I wanted strong romance with God in the middle.

To me, romance isn't romance unless the Author of Romance is smack dab in the middle, so I turned away from the very passionate romance in the secular market to try some in the Christian market.

Unfortunately, as an extremist in everything I do, I soon discovered that the high level of passion I wanted, both in the romantic tension and spiritual application, wasn't dominant in the CBA, so I decided to write my own for those Christian women as extreme in their love for God and romance as I am!

All I can say is that thank God that God is not a respecter of persons ... or authors!! :)


Debby Giusti said...

Hi Melanie,
You said "it's unexplainable," yet you did a great job telling us why you write. Often we write for a number of reasons. Being paid for our work is important and in no way diminishes the work we do.

You also said it makes you "feel like yourself." Very nice. You're in touch with the inner you. Actually, if I don't write, my spirit starts to die. Maybe that's too extreme, but it's as if I start to wither instead of thrive. Does that make sense? So even if I never sold, I'd still have to write because it's part of who I am, which goes back to your statement about "feeling like yourself."

Debby Giusti said...

Hi Missy!
You had a great Bible study ... they prayed you to publication!!! Awesome.

Loved what you said about God using your stories to teach you and mold you. I agree. IMHO, God is constantly trying to get our attention. He has so much He wants to tell us. Often we ... okay, I need to make this personal, so...often I don't have my listening ears on. When I'm working on a story, especially when I'm struggling with an idea, I have to tune in to what He wants. When I allow Him to take charge, everything works better.

Debby Giusti said...

Hi Neighbor!!!

Oh, my gosh, Edwina! Can't believe we're so close. This is the first time I've taken out an ad in Fayette Woman. It's a nice magazine, and I wanted to let folks in the area know about my new book.

Did you see the info in the calendar about my book signing on Thursday, FEB 25, 4-6:30PM? It's at Omega Book Center in PTC (corner of Hwy 54 and Peachtree Parkway). Stop by if you can. I'll love to give you a big Seeker hug in person!

You're in today's drawing!

Debby Giusti said...

Hi Dianna...another neighbor!!!
Your comment about putting your writing on hold for family and college and work could apply to me as well.

I sold my first few articles to magazines when my children were young. Then life got busy, and I focused on family, church and community commitments.

Took me awhile, but I eventually realized I had to give myself permission to write, to take time away from my family and do something for myself.

For years, I sandwiched the writing into the "free" time. Those of you who are moms know how little free time you have so my progress was slower than a snail's pace. Looking back, I'm always amazed at the journey, which isn't over yet!

Debby Giusti said...

Ah, Tina, nicely stated. There is much to be learned from perseverance in the face of adversity AKA rejection!

My years of writing without making a sale provided an excellent example for my children. They could never whine about life not being fair because they saw their mother face judges' negative comments and rejection letters and "Sorry but this doesn't work for me" emails. They also knew better than to give up on anything without giving it their best shot and then trying again and again and again.

Determination and perseverance are good lessons for kids to learn.

If you stop back again, I'd love for you to discuss a bit more about how your recent sale was anti-climactic.

Seeing my first book in print was not as exciting as when I got "The Call."

When I wrote magazine articles, I felt satisfaction when the editor liked the story. By the time the magazine came out, I had already moved on to something else.

Debby Giusti said...

Hi Kav! Sounds like you were born to write since that's what you did as a child before "life" got in the way.

So many negative voices tell us we can't (insert anything here that's the desire of your heart) write. Naturally, our self-confidence takes a beating. Every rejection pushes us back a step or two or ten. Even after publication, those negatives can still be heard loud and clear.

My guess is that most of us struggle with feelings of inadequacies when it comes to our writing. That keeps us humble for sure, but it's not a good thing. We need balance so we can appreciate our strengths and work to improve those areas where we might be weak.

Sounds as if you were a closet writer as well! That's how I always described myself. I rarely told anyone about my writing until I started to sell to magazines. Seeing my name in print validated my work, and I finally came out of the closet. :)

Mary Connealy said...

Debby, you've got a new book. I love your work! I can barely keep up with your releases. YAY!

Great post.

I...uh...suspect I write to avoid dusting.

"But honey, I'm working, I can't stop to (fill in the blank)...get dinner...dust...wash clothes...bath (oh, oops TMI)

Mary Connealy said...

There might also be an avoidance reflex in my writing.


Debby Giusti said...

Mia, I stopped by your blog! Love it! So glad you came to Seekerville today, and thanks for sharing the reasons you write.

You said, "I write for God." How proud He must be of you and your work.

IMHO, knowing why we write helps us through the hard times. When we're working for a greater good, it's easier to keep going even in the face of rejection.

The folks who quit don't have a deep need to write so they can walk away. The rest of us--the ones who must write to be truly alive--we continue on because it's who we are.

Debby Giusti said...

Hi Casey,
We all start with baby steps. Whenever I start something new--like a new story--I'm back to baby steps. Everything has a learning curve. Beginnings are always hard, but when we keep moving forward, we gain confidence and the struggle turns to joy...especially when the book is finished. :)

Keep writing and come back to Seekerville for your daily fix of writing support.

You're in the drawing!

Debby Giusti said...

Hi Julie!
You're amazing! From the very beginning you knew what you wanted to accomplish with your writing. Today, you said, "I write because I wanted strong romance with God in the middle."

That's exactly the type of story you pen. It's your brand, and it's what readers expect and get in each of your wonderful stories.

I looked at the STATS for last weeks' blogs, and you had almost 600 visitors the day you posted. Your message has resonated with readers and writers alike across this country and around the world.

God is blessing your work, which makes me very happy!

Debby Giusti said...

Mary, you're not avoiding anything. You're spreading joy and laughter with heartwarming stories that tug at the heartstrings, tickle the tummy and give me pause to think of bigger issues like life and love and determination in the face of seemingly insurmountable hardships.

Let Ivan dust! You've got more important things to do! :)

Joan said...

Hi Debby and Seekers,

I am Joan Marlow Golan, Executive Editor of Steeple Hill. Ruth suggested I visit in advance of my guest appearance here in May(she was too tactful to put it this way, but probably thought given my technological semi-literacy, I'd better practice in order to be ready for my closeup. :))

Debby, a beautiful, thoughtful essay for this Ash Wednesday. And to all you writers out there, we editors thank the Lord for your gifts and dedication to your craft
(after all, you could do your work without us, but not vice versa), and we wish best success to those still on Unpubbed Island. Do not lose heart--we have bought quite a few of you in recent months, and there's room in our lineup for more, especially with Love Inspired Historical expanding.

Vince, why don't you go to eHarlequin and ask the folks there about availability of KILLER HEADLINE in LP?

Well, that's it for me. I likely won't be back before my guest appearance, not because I don't love you all but because of time constraints and my lack of fondness for screens. Meantime, I wish you all a good Lent and a blessed Easter and, of course, happy writing! Blessings, Joan

Rose said...

Hi Debby,

I read the post first thing this am but pondered the question until now.

Growing up teachers always told me I had a talent for writing, so I guess for me it goes back to the parable of the talents. God gave me the talent to write so I should use it.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh my stars, I LOVE it when my bosses listen to me.

It makes me feel so EMPOWERED...

Ummm... Good job, Joan!!!!!

(oh my gosh, did you all just notice that Joan Marlow Golan, the executive director of Steeple Hill Books, boss of me and MANY others like me was just here???

Right here?????

In Seekerville????

Oh mylanta, I'm all verklempt just thinking about it.

And, ummm....

Not for nothin'....

Did you notice she MENTIONED MY NAME??????



Sorry. Calming down, now. Thinking calm thoughts, easy thoughts, going to that happy place, la da dee, la da dum....

Deep breathing.

Okay. Back in control. Mostly.

Joan, you rascal, look how well you did there!!!! YAY!!!


We are so excited by your visit. Oh my stars, how much fun that will be!! We shall pick your brain, serve lovely drinks according to the weather, dream of cherry blossoms and green leaves in Central Park and Union Station.

Ah. NYC. Love it.

Thanks for coming by!!! Giving us a shout out!

Yay you!!!


Sign me,

Grinning in Upstate NY

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

How lovely for you to visit us Joan.

Ruth often prompts many of us here to do things ....join the club lol.

Debby, I'll do a post on the journey and the arrival at some point. Not that the call wasn't marvelous, it was but reflecting back I see how very important each step of the journey was.

Mary Connealy said...

We know we have a good day when Ruthy works the word verklempt into a comment.


Koala Bear Writer said...

Very interesting post. I write because I can't not write... the stories are in my head and I want to craft them into words on a page that can be shared with others. I want other people to know and love and hate the characters as I do. I want them to be moved as I've been moved by the things I read. That's why I write.

Debby Giusti said...

What a delightful surprise to have Joan Marlow Golan stop by today.

If you haven't met Joan, you're in for a treat. She's a beautiful woman inside and out with a deep love for the Lord. In addition, she's a savvy editor who has taken Steeple Hill from its beginning, "wonder if this will succeed" phase to become an industry leader in Christian publishing.

Thanks, Ruthy, for inviting Joan, and thanks, Joan, for visiting with us today.

Debby Giusti said...

Ruthy, you're amazing! Inviting Joan to Seekerville today! How nice!

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Hi Debby,

I've always said about my writing, "it's not about the money, it's about the message." But lately those words have come back to haunt me. I'd LOVE to make a living with my writing.

I'd LOVE to write more, better, quicker - to churn out story after story and have them accepted by someone other than a small press.

Sound familiar?

I know I'm not the only one.

Thanks for your encouraging post.

May God bless you and yours abundantly and grant you mucho sales.


Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

PS: meant to leave my email address: (that's ZERO7)


Debby Giusti said...

Tina, we'll all look forward to your promised post, highlighting your journey to publication!!!

I still get chills when I think about your debut on bookshelves!!! Can't wait!

Erica Vetsch said...

Lovely post today, Debby.

Debby Giusti said...

Koala Bear, thanks for sharing your reasons for writing. Those "stories in your head" resonate with me. I'll see a scene in my mind's eye that keeps coming back until I develop it into a full-length manuscript.

Debby Giusti said...

Hi Pamela,
All of us want to receive payment for our writing. It's validation. The money and the message are both important. I'd love to make a living writing, as well. Interesting what Terry Kay said about only 300 writers supporting themselves by their craft. Seems like a small number, doesn't it?

You're in the drawing! :)

Debby Giusti said...

Hi Erica,
Always good to see you in Seekerville!!!

Pamela Mason said...

Hi Debby,
I've arrived very late, skimmed the comments, and have to ditto everybody. Not very original I know, but I loved Melanie's line, 'rather eat dirt than get a job'! HA!
I'm writing to finally express myself, to challenge myself, to exploit God's gifts to me for my voice, my humor, my expression, my empathy to their fullest. I read some stories and relate to the point of weeping, thinking, "How on earth did that author touch that nerve there?" And God's voice tells me that he gave me that nerve, gave it to others as well, that we may all find our way to Him through that painful nerve. That to show others that the pain is the first step to healing, and to use His lessons, His love,however it appears, as a balm. Sometimes the lesson comes in a romance novel.
Also, the learning curve for me is stEEP. All those confusing pieces are finally falling into place like a solid color jigsaw puzzle. Now if I could just accept criticism without throwing up the defense wall...but that's for another post I hope.
Oops...too preachy there! Sorry!
Loved your new blog. Thank you!

Janet Dean said...

What a wonderful surprise to have Joan with us in Seekerville!! And she's thanking the Lord for our gift of writing when we're so thankful for her and all the LI editors!

More wonderful Love Inspired Historicals to read also means more opportunities for writers. Yay!!!


Debby Giusti said...

Hi Pamela,

What you said bears repeating: "to show others that the pain is the first step to healing, and to use His lessons, His love, however it appears, as a balm." Nice, Pamela!!!

You mentioned the steep learning curve, but the pieces were starting to fall into place. That's a reason to celebrate.

The thick skin is hard to grow. Rejection and criticism hurts, especially when we're expecting...counting on good news. I try to focus on my writing as a product. Someone might reject my product because it's not ready to go on the market, but that doesn't mean they've rejected me.

Belinda Peterson said...

Amazing post.
I just love to tell stories. I love to create characters and towns and situations. It's all so fun and inspiring. Plus I want to share the message of love. God's love. There are so many aspects of it we can write about it forever.
Thank you for writing the books that touch your heart. That's why they touch readers so.

Debby Giusti said...

Sounds like you're a natural storyteller, Lindi. No wonder you write such wonderful prose. :)

Pepper Basham said...

Hi Debby,
Thanks for the post and a reminder on perspective. I write for several reasons:
Because I'm a dreamer and enjoy getting lost in imaginary worlds ;-)
Because God has put this amazing joy in my heart for writing, creating, and developing a story. Truly, there are so many moments that when I write "I feel God's pleasure" a lot of people said, I write to share a beautiful story. Hopefully the story will touch people's lives, or entertain for a little while, or make them pause in the freeway of life and think differently about their moments or experiences.
But at the heart of it all, I write because I feel this needs, this God given love, to write. I dont' like EVERY part of the process, but I sure like more than I don't. :-) And though I've not been rewarded with publication (yet), it's such an amazing process to take a few ideas, some interesting imaginary friends, and weave them into a story that's memorable.

Debra E Marvin said...

Am I late or what?

Why Write?
Because it's the most enjoyable thing I can do, the most fulfilling, stretching, know-my-weaknesses and His strengths activity I can think of. Because I would do it to the exclusion of most everything else, and oh yes, wouldn't it be a blessing to be able to touch others with a word they need to read and make some income from it?

Missy Tippens said...

How fun to see Joan stopped by!! :)

All of you have really touched me today with your stories of why you write. Thank you for sharing!

Debby Giusti said...

Beautifully said, Pepper! Thanks for sharing.

Debby Giusti said...

Hi Deb,
You're not late. Glad you could stop by and share your delightful reasons for writing. It's been such a fun day with lots of wonderful insights into why folks write. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to add to the topic.

Helen Gray said...


I read your post hours ago and didn't respond because my reasons for writing seem so selfish. But I've decided that honesty has merit.

I write for me.

It provides things like personal satisfaction, proving I can do it, and not being dependent on others in the way of working in the public.

Then there's the privacy of my world of imaginary characters. Being a wife, mother, pastor's wife, and teacher didn't allow for a lot of such luxury.

And it stirs the gray matter!


Ruth Logan Herne said...


I love you.


I love you.

And that's all I'm saying.

Trinity Rose said...

Very interesting post. Thanks for writing it. I would love to be entered in your giveaway.
Blessings and thanks,
Trinity Rose aka Wanda

wandaelaine AT gmail DOT com

K. Dawn Byrd said...

Shortly after the ACFW conference last year, I became frustrated that I didn't have an agent or a contract. Many of my writing friends came home gushing that they'd had this publisher or that agent request more of their manuscript. Because of my work schedule, I had been unable to attend.

I remember sitting in my living room floor and crying. I was frustrated that everything was at a stand still (I'm not very patient as you can tell.) I told God that if it wasn't in His will for me to write, I wanted him to take the longing to write from my heart. I didn't write anything for about two weeks, didn't even edit. I was testing God, waiting to see if He'd give me the go ahead. That was one of the most miserable periods of my life.

At the end of this two weeks, I recieved word from Desert Breeze Publishing that they wanted to sign me. I have two books coming out with them this year, one in April and one in August. There were two valuable lessons that I learned from that process. God told me over and over to be patient and to wait on Him. He taught me some patience during that two weeks. Also, I learned that I can't NOT write. I am truly miserable if I am not involved in the creative process of writing. Editing does not fill this void. I am most content when my fingers are on the keyboard.

Audra Harders said...

Ha!That'll teach me to let day job get in the way of writing job. I not only missed commenting on Debby's very thought provoking post, but I missed Joan, too! Hmm,one of these days, day job has to go...

Debby, I loved reading all the reasons people write. Wow, amazing how I can claim many of those reasons myself.

First I read.

Then I dabbled in writing.

Then I blushed - secular romance not for me AND I was horrible!

Then I stopped.

Then I started.

Then I stopped.

When I finally quit wallowing in my own ineptitude, I turned over my typewriter to God and said, *Do something with me!*

Then I got serious.

Writing became a desire, an escape, a source of self-motivation.

I absolutley love all the fine folks God has placed in my path to publication, and really, nothing motivated me more than telling the best story I could so I could justify to my husband why I had to go to conferences : )

I love what the Lord has assigned me to do for Him in this lifetime. I pray I don't disappoint Him : )

Cynthia said...

Right now I'm still new to writing. Right now I write to get the story that is in my head. I love to see where it can lead and how the characters change. A lot of times my characters are a reflection of how I've changed or some of the struggles that I've gone through. Kind of a culmination of sorts. Kind of helps with processing through everything.

cynthiakchow (at) earthlink (dot) net