The three hardest challenges of becoming a fiction author

What holds you back? For me there were a few reasons that resembled major road blocks..

1. Technology and my lack of skill in it.

I am a baby boomer who nearly failed typing class. So for years I wrote by hand while enjoying the scratching noise of a pen on paper.

7 years ago I stumbled across a long forgotten handwritten manuscript in my nigh drawer. When I re-read the story I got caught up in the excitement of how it would end. ( Yes, I actually forgot what I had written.) Because I found the ending compelling I decided to peck it out on the computer by using three out of my ten fingers.

2. I can't remain anonymous? Shucks!

Being told that the days of writing under a pseudonym are over I panicked. In these days of social media would I have to unfold my private life for the world to see?

Would my readers assume that I embody the protagonist of my books?

Raised in Europe after the Second World War I grew up valuing privacy more than self-revelation. Then a persuasive thought entered my mind: people who share freely enrich my life! "Get over yourself" gradually became my new motto.

3. How can I justify spending hundreds of hours producing a novel that no one may read?

It is easy to justify making money, isn't it? But to risk the opposite; expenditure with possible failure seemed foolish. After deliberating I came to the conclusion that the risk was worthwhile. The story pressed against my rib-cage demanding to get out. So I made this creative venture my focus and cut out other things I didn't want or need as much (like a tidy house and perfect yard, pity my family members).

So how did it go you may ask?

Something curious happened. When faced with feelings of being overwhelmed, scared or plain stupid I asked for divine help. Often help came as a whisper or a newfound resolve. One day it came through a friend who after reading the rough draft of my book traveled two hours to look me in the eye saying: "Publish this!"

Why do I write this?

So that you my friend may be encouraged to heed the dreams put into your heart by a loving Father who longs for your specific expression.

Is it a dream of building an orphanage? Of writing your own recipe book for Kombucha tea? Or raising chickens? Whatever it is, may God encourage you to forge ahead when the time is right!


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