Does a Writer a Reader Make?
Happy New Year! I am emerging from the chaos of the holidays with kids at home and a myriad of family activities to distract me from my writing. One of those activities that can keep me from writing is reading. I do love to read. But am I cut out to be a writer? Will I learn to be a better writer through reading?
In 2008 I ventured into the realm of book publishing, creating and submitting my very first book proposal. It has yet to be accepted. The economic downturn and my relative obscurity haven’t helped. So, as the new year begins I am contemplating writing and wondering if I should set aside book idea 1 (a book about missional evangelism) and work on some other book ideas that I have swimming around in the primordial pool in my head.
Here are some of my ideas:
- God if You’re Real… – telling my life story through the lens of discovering God
- The Man Delusion: Women’s Rights and Responsibilities – a discussion on the delusion of male authoritarianism in the church, why this delusion has continued for so long and how women have rights and responsibilities in the church and world that differ from what the church and world are trying to sell us.
- Bubble, Sphere, Orb, Globe – a science fiction series geared toward young adults exploring the possibility of life in other realms.
As I consider venturing into the realm of fiction writing, I have wondered whether I can even write fiction well. How does one know? Can I learn to write great fiction by reading great fiction? If I read the popular young adult books that my teenagers love, will that help me to better write to that audience? I have already ventured into the realm of reading young adult fiction – some at my girls request, others out of personal interest.
Lately, my Katie (age 14) has been pressuring me to read the Twilight series. I stood in line for the midnight opening with my Katie, her friend Sophia, and Sophia’s mom. I was pleasantly surprised by the movie and thus more interested in reading the books. But I have so many other books I want to read first. Do I allow Twilight to cut in line before I finish His Dark Materials trilogy? I just started book three – The Amber Spyglass. Or displace reading Brisingr from the Inheritance series? And who has time to read all these great novels when I am in seminary and required to read books like, The Gospel in a Pluralist Society and write essays and papers all the time?
Perhaps in these few brief days before school starts again I will finish The Amber Spyglass and have time to begin Twilight. I’ll keep you posted.
As many begin the new year glancing back upon the past year, I am looking back on my favorite books of 2008. Here’s my list:
Favorite non-fiction book recommended by a friend:
A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder–How Crammed Closets, Cluttered Offices, and On-the-Fly Planning Make the World a Better Place by Eric Abrahamson and David H. Freedman
Favorite non-fiction book written by a friend:
Favorite non-fiction book required for a seminary class:
Evangelism after Christendom: The Theology and Practice of Christian Witness by Bryan P., Stone
Favorite fiction book recommended by one of my daughters:
Eldest (Inheritance) by Christopher Paolini
Favorite fiction I bought for my daughters but fell in love with myself:
The Singing: The Fourth Book of Pellinor by Alison Croggon
I just finished reading The Singing on New Year’s Eve and while I am glad to have read the series, I am sad to leave the world so beautifully crafted by Alison Croggon. While I may be interested in writing fiction, I fear I am not gifted for the task. I also wonder whether as an extrovert I can seclude myself from the world around me long enough to create other worlds. I took a poetry class in college and while I performed well in all my other English classes, I did poorly in poetry. Yet there is a longing within me to write with beauty and grace, to inspire through words, to create something of value for future generations.
God help me in this new year to choose well my path for writing, to not be afraid to live my dreams, to allow your spirit to guide me and to never forget to take time to listen to your voice calling me.