Monday, March 29, 2010


Here's a question for writers out there. Why do you write? Is it because you have a story to tell, because you want to be published, or do you just have to WRITE?

Well, I started writing because I had to WRITE. I couldn't help myself. Words were too much a part of me. I had to find blank sheets of paper and fill them with words, with sentences, with prose that made my heart sing.

Then a story began stirring within me. From the beginning I called it IRON AND THE STONE. After I started putting the story down on paper, I realized, I had a lot to learn about the craft of fiction. So, I started studying, learning, getting my hands on anything that would teach me the ins and outs of great prose. I wanted to make sure I knew how to write before I put anymore of the one story I was so passionate about on the page. I wanted to make sure I did it RIGHT.

I spent years learning the craft, just so I could write this one story. I even impressed some editors. So much so, they talked me into doing what they do, and the next thing I knew, I became a professional editor. And then . . . I was spending more time editing than writing.

Umm, when did I plan on getting back to that one story that meant so much to me?

Well, after my health went in the toilet, and during a treatment when I wondered if I'd actually survive the night, my only regret (other than that I would be leaving four children behind without a mother, e-hem) was that I'd never been able to finish that one story. The story that meant more to me than anything else I'd written. The story I wrote for my Father in Heaven.

After my health improved, I got to work. I finished the first book, THE MASTER'S WALL, to the IRON AND THE STONE series, and it finalled in the Genesis. Because of it, a multi-published writer who read it, put in a good word for me with another multi-published writer, who hooked me up with an agent. After reading this one story, the agent took me on as her client, despite the fact that she wasn't sure if she could get it to sell because Biblical Fiction was "out." But because of this story, she believed in me. Her partner even told me she'd never seen my agent get so engrossed with reading one of the submissions. And later, my agent said: "There's nothing else like it on the market."

Now, I'm half way through the second book!

Sreeeeeeachhhhh! That's the sound of breaks. I'm being encouraged by numerous folks in the industry that because no larger houses want my story, to write something simple that they're familiar with, something that's been done before, over and over and over and over again. No . . . I'm not exaggerating. So, I came up with a series that is actually quite good (that I haven't seen done yet, believe it or not), and I'm sure if I work on it long enough, I'll feel the same passion for it that I feel for IRON . . . umm--NOT. Sorry, no story will be able to take the place of IRON. But business-wise, I can be happy with it.

So, I'm becoming like a lot of those other business savvy writers out there who write what they're told. Umm, only problem is, if I do that, I'm afraid my stories will convey the same passion that I feel! I mean, my heart is in IRON, my passion is in IRON. How do I write something else when I still haven't finished the one story I've spent years wanting to finish? Yes, I've written other stories, but I did that to learn the craft. I didn't care if I messed those stories up. But I care whether or not I mess IRON up, and well, I feel like I've got the ability to write it now. So, why can't I finish what I started? My heart yearns to finish it. I'm half way through the second book. I know I can finish it in a few months if that's all I focus on.

Yes, business is important, especially if I want to become a well-known, established author. But I also think passion is important. And well, if I go with my passion, maybe I can become a well-known, established author because I wrote a great story, a story that changed lives? If I go this route, it's possible I won't be considered a true writer. After all, I'm putting all my eggs into one basket and stubbornly writing what I WANT, not what I SHOULD.

Dare I put so much belief into just one story?

Maybe I'm simply not a writer.   Instead . . .

I'm a storyteller.


  1. Love it Sandi. Absolutely beautiful. I write because I believe God wants me to. Plus I find my place in life when I am at the computer, writing the words tumbling through my fingers. Keep it up, you can do it!!

  2. I know this has come up at HisWriters, and I know the advice of "Pray about it" has undoubtedly hit your ears a gazillion times. But how about this:

    If you HAVE prayed about it (which I know you have) and if this new idea you have still doesn't excite you, maybe you SHOULD be finishing Iron. The new series will be there when you're done, and you'll be able to dedicate yourself to it better than if you're spending all your efforts wishing you were writing something else.

    Not to mention that sometimes it's when you let an idea simmer and stew while you work on something else, it comes out the better for what you think up while it's resting.

    Trust me, I've been in that "Write this instead," spot, and it doesn't often work. We have to write our passion, and when we lack the passion for what we're writing, it does indeed show. If the Lord has kept your passion on Iron, then maybe that's His way of saying, "This one, Sandi. You asked for another idea, and I gave it to you, but I didn't tell you to ignore the story of your heart."

    Just a thought.

  3. You write what inspires you and forget the business aspect of it. We've all been there, but the story and the characters really have to capture your attention for the long haul to write a successful book. And what defines success? Some really crappy stories sell really well. Does that make them a success?

    Ask yourself if you'll be able to sit down and read your own book in a few years and not cringe when you are doing it?

    They may say, "Gee, I'd like to see her write ABC with this amount of compassion and conviction. She's a good writer. She can write anything."

    But you need to have the passion for it to be able to pull it off.

    In the words of Joseph Campbell "Follow your Bliss".

  4. Sandi, please keep on writing your passion. There's a reason God put that story in your heart. I'm lookin gforward to reading your first and your second book.

  5. Hey, did you get into my head and write much of what I think?? DAAAA
    How great! I reckon you should write that unfinished book...dare to be different, just you! God says we are peculiar people! So you certainly are,from what I'm reading,... one of His. Woooo Hooo it must be written!
    Happy Easter..Crystal Lindsey

  6. I understand the feeling, Sandi. A friend of mine writes lovely allegories. But no one's publishing allegories so she tried to write what they are publishing; got about 1/2 -2/3 of the way through and got this huge, classic case of writer's blog!

    Me? I write Christian sci/fi and fantasy. Oh, wait--not too many houses are publishing those either... lol!

    I hope you get the books of your heart published.

  7. This is a test. I keep getting porn comments, so I've set up my comments to be approved. We'll see how this works. :-)

  8. Thanks for the encouragement, everyone! You all are wonderful.

    Sorry it took so long for your comments to appear. In order to approve them, I was looking for them in the wrong spot! I'm so NOT computer savvy! :-)

    Thanks for your patients and your kind words. They do me GOOD. xxx

  9. You touched my heart. I can feel the passion you have for Iron.

    You are in my prayers. :)

  10. Thank you, Nike. Your prayers mean so much to me! xxx

  11. I appreciate this post, Sandi. I came upon it quite by accident so I can only believe that it is what God wanted me to read. For so long I have worked myself up so much about publishing "successful" work that I haven't been able to write much of anything at all. After reading this and the other comments it helped me remember that as it says in the Bible, everything we do should be as to the Lord and for His glory, not ours.

  12. Yve, how in the world did you find this post? LOL It's back a page or two, and because it did encourage you so much, all I can think is that God did lead you here.

    Write what God has put on your heart to write. Sometimes I think my writing can't be all that important to Him, but He knows the amount of hairs on our head (something I could care less about), so why wouldn't He care about your writing, your passion?

    Just keep your focus on Him, and WRITE. :-)