Saturday, April 30, 2011

Getting Better


By Keith N Fisher

When I began to blog on this site, I set up a file to save every article. Since I was writing about my struggle, I intended to perhaps, publish all the lessons I learned along the way. After reading what I wrote five-years ago, I wonder how I could’ve been so na├»ve to think it was good enough for a book.

Like many of you, I sit down everyday and labor over a keyboard, putting sentences together, hoping to find the right words. When I compare what I wrote then, with what I write now, I have to admit, I’m getting better.

That statement brings an old Beatles song to mind, but we won’t take the time to listen right now . . . Well, when you get time, it’s here, but read on.

As I write this, I’m waiting to hear from a publisher about a manuscript, I’m finishing up the sequel to that, and writing another story. I’m excited about my characters and the plots are flowing. There are occasional unproductive periods though, but I love writing and I hope to prevail.

Through it all, I’m learning my craft. Eventually, I’ll be a better writer, but will it be enough?

A few months ago, I wrote about a mentor telling me not to put much faith in being a successful, full time writer. It happened again recently with less devastation to me. To be fair, I think my mentor is trying to keep me from abandoning my day job, but It made me wonder whether he knows anything about the LDS market I’m writing in.

One of the first lessons learned by an LDS fiction author is, there isn’t much money in it. Visions of a six-figure income fade when they learn that 5,000 copies, is a good run. That’s chicken feed compared to a New York Times bestseller. Often, LDS titles never sell over 1,000.

Many of my peers write LDS fiction while struggling to succeed in the national market. I labor with keeping it clean. Like everyone else, I dream of living in a cottage on a cliff, overlooking a body of water. Writing full time, while agents fight over who will represent my next manuscript.

I accept, however, my role as provider in my family, and I work a full time job while trying to be a good enough writer to please, He, who planted a writing desire in my soul. Yes, I’m getting better, but there are so many who were born with more talent. I’m hoping He, will reward my efforts.

So, in order to clarify my intentions I say; I’m an author of women’s fiction, tailored for the LDS market. I have lofty goals, including writing a national market bestseller, or two, but I’m a realist. I work for a living and write for my soul. I have dreams to match the mountains, don’t stomp on my dreams.

Next week, I will be attending the LDStorymakers Writer’s conference. I’m not sure I’ll be able to post on Saturday, but I’ll be rubbing shoulders with people who get it. They understand my desire to write. It will be refreshing. See you there?

Good luck with your writing—see you next week, uh, time.

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