Monday, August 2, 2010

Do I Want to Be a "Christian Writer"??

I am a Christian. I am a writer. I'm not so sure I want to be known as a "Christian writer" or a "Christian author." There are two main reasons for this.

There is a certain idea I get when someone says the words "Christian author." It is not a good idea. I think of bad romance novels with cardboard characters or sappy stories with no real plot or depth. In fact, off-hand, C. S. Lewis is the only "Christian author" I can think of who doesn't give me that negative idea. I don't want to be a writer that falls into the category of that idea I have of "Christian authors."

On the other hand, there are other authors I'm fond of that also happened to be Christians, such as Tolkien and Madeleine L'Engle. I don't really think of them as Christian writers; they were just writers who happened to be Christian. They were able to artfully weave subtle Christian themes into a story without compromising their art. This is the type of writer I'd like to be.

There is another reason why I don't think I'd like to be known as a "Christian author." If a non-Christian were looking for something to read, chances are, this person wouldn't be interested in reading a work of fiction by a so-called "Christian author." Most likely, the only people who would be interested in reading works by a "Christian author" would be other Christians. While there's nothing wrong with the idea of having other Christians read my writing, I don't want JUST Christians to read my writing. I want my writing to be available for everyone. I want it be marketed to everyone.

After a lot of prayer, I'm beginning to see how little I understand of what God is doing with me and my writing. God's convicted me that I really need to "get skooled" on what kind of Christian fiction actually exists in this world. I've been judgmental of what exists in the realm of Christian fiction. I've been too judgmental to really even investigate. A good friend of mine has suggested several books from the genre of "Christian fantasy" and "Christian Science Fiction"--I didn't even realize those were legitimate genres. I have some research ahead of me (yay reading!). It seems that if there's some groundbreaking going on in Christian literature, it might be a good time for me to try to get in on it. ...foot in the door...

I'm just not sure how the Lord wants me to market my stories. Right now, I'm just trying to be faithful and learn as much as I can. I'll continue to send queries and keep editing. I'll keep asking God for guidance. If you pray for me, my greatest request is that God will get glory from my writing. I'm not sure about all the "hows" that are involved, but I know He's called me here. He isn't finished with this...or with me.

1 comment:

  1. I remember reading some good Christian fantasy books when I was a kid, but then, I was a kid.

    Adult literature is different. I agree with you on being a Christian and an author, and not marketing your writing as if it must be both. You're right: non-Christians would probably never pick up a "Christian" book.