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I started writing this post, and just like my “Why Don’t You Just” series, I got so lost in it that it ended up being way too long. So stick around for the next few weeks to learn why my lifelong amateur writing career culminated in a life-changing breakthrough last week about learning to love myself and the projects I take on with God. This has helped me in the process of writing “A Saviour’s Path,” and solidifying why I really believe in these books, and why I think you or someone you know will believe in them too.
If you’re reading these out of order, I encourage you to read the other posts, as well!
Though my motivations have been skewed on and off, deep down I want this book to be a reflection that people can use to examine their own hearts, their beliefs about God, and their relationship with him. It’s supposed to be raw, gritty, and dark, and not be the typical neat and tidy evangelical romance that I’ve read so many of. Francine Rivers and Terri Blackstock are my closest role models, but I’m taking it farther than them, and adding a touch of Jodi Picoult in there as well. I hope it makes some people uncomfortable. I hope it makes them laugh and cry. I hope I’m able to get out the emotions I have in my head when I picture a scene and put it on paper in a way that others will get. But the beta process has taught me that with a lot of art, a roomful of people will each see my work in very different ways. Even though I’ve been getting some feedback that is very similar with each person (telling me that it’s really, really something I should change) some people are seeing things that I didn’t even see! And that’s what I love.
Another example is Fifty Shades of Grey. So many reviews that I read or watch about the books and movies are negative, and yet it was popular enough that it became a famous hit too. So many people love to hate it, and it’s become a phenomenon. I really hope that I don’t fall into this category, but the thing is, enough people will like my work enough to recommend it to others, and that will grow it into something that gets TV show producers’ attention. So obviously Fifty Shades made a connection with someone.
And then there’s the OG – Twilight. I think Twilight, the Hunger Games, and Harry Potter all sparked most of the blockbuster books and TV shows of the 2010’s. Twilight is probably the worst reviewed franchise of the three, but really, I think it’s not that bad. I loved it when I was a kid, and I’ve been tainted by negative reviews since then. Yes, a lot of the messages are problematic, but I think Stephanie Myers falls into the category of writers who was just creating a world she liked for fun. She wrote based on what she knew, and most of the media back then and now portrays very problematic romantic relationship dynamics. It’s good to be cautious and have those discussions with our kids, but I don’t think Meyers is as arrogant as EL James. She was just having a good time, and the books were pretty good, based on my opinion back when I was part of the target demographic.
Actually, I LIVED for Twilight back then. I was stalled on one of them, I think it was Eclipse, and when my mom got it for me, I never put it down, and I was chomping at the bit for the next one. There are so many book series I’ve read that are like that. I just need more and more. I need to be in that world. I HAVE to know what’s going to happen next. I can’t put it down, and I’ll finish it in a few days. So even though Twilight gets a lot of haters, especially for spawning things like Fifty Shades and 365 days, the book has enough people who “get it” and like it for it to be successful.
All of this to say that a book or story can be popular without being universally loved. And even those that may seem universally loved, like Avatar: The Last Airbender still will have loving negative critiquers or even haters, and I’m trying to remember that. Plus, as painful and devastating as it is to receive those negative comments (always given in love and respect; thank you, my betas), especially when it involves long and involved rewrites that impact SIX BOOKS, I do eventually get over my hurt feelings and paralyzing fear and realize that it’s the only way to get better. I’m in the category of book crafting because of how much I love the art of novel writing. It’s something I’ve studied and loved for as long as I can remember. It’s why I love books. It’s why I love helping other authors with their work, why I love reviewing, and why I love writing. It’s in my blood. It’s in my bones. It’s something that I deeply respect and am honored to be a part of, even if it’s only as an amateur.
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I hope you liked what you saw. What did you think of the topic? Leave a comment and start a discussion with your thoughts! Don’t forget to like and share with your best friends, mortal enemies, and everyone in between. Come back later to see if your icon appears in my subscriber cloud! Even better, validate my work by leaving a tip to support this (not actually) starving author. You can also support my company, Planet Hope Christian Enterprising, by donating to our crowdfunds on at GoFundMe and FundRazr down below. We are a non-profit providing pay-what-you-can creative and communication services to individuals and organizations – including you! By donating, you can help us reach our goal to provide top-rate creative and support services to charities and others who would like our help. But we can’t do it without your support, so even if you can’t give financially, please like, share, subscribe, and comment. Many blessings to you today and every day.
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“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.”
~ Romans 15:13