So Much To Write, So Little Time

May 1, 2013

Every author I know loves beautiful words. And every author I know has a day job. I may be dooming my author “brand” from the very beginning, but here’s the truth: The writing life is rarely glamorous or lucrative. We spend our days like you do—teaching, caring for children, carpooling, selling real estate, sorting emails in cubicles—and at the same time, we have stories clogging our minds like running film clips. Every experience is accompanied by background music and a part of our brain puzzling out how we would record the moment—beautifully.

 

I feel blessed to be part of a group of believing writers here in Southern Idaho. To have relationships with supportive people is necessary for anyone. For myself, sharing the writing journey with fellow authors has renewed and refreshed me. We struggle to channel a story, so clear in our minds, onto the page. We can find it daunting and distracting to think about all that must happen before that manuscript gets to publication. On the other hand, it’s like a dry pen dipped in a deep well of black ink to have another writer come alongside, “I understand. I went through that, too. Let me help.”

 

As Christian believers, we pray God will make our stories inspiring, or challenging, or entertaining to more than just us. Every spare hour, we write about these worlds in our heads, these characters whispering romance, betrayal, and intrigue in our ears. Fiction novels are our goal, but sometimes the stories come fully formed, in just a few pages. Then, what to do?

 

One member of our group, Rebecca Carey Lyles, who is also an editor and publisher, provided the answer - a collection of stories about transition and transformation, by a group of Christian writers. We are a varied foursome of friends—our styles, genres and personalities are all very different. But one thing we found in common—we write about movement, from one place to another, and the enlightenment that comes when we’re willing to dwell for a time in the spaces between—Passageways.

 

One more word about our stories, and then I will leave you to download and read them. There is a trend in short story writing to ignore the fact that stories are supposed to have a plot, and instead create sort of lovely, stream-of-consciousness thought poetry. Like haute cuisine, which may offer a huge plate with a perfect piece of broccoli, a sliver of translucent salmon, and a swirl of onion, these stories are artistic, but hardly satisfying. We're not those kind of short story writers. We relish beautiful words, but we also write engaging plots, recognizable characters and satisfying endings. Enjoy!

 

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