November 24, 2012

Go Ahead and Write! -- Lynn Dove

One of the young ladies in my youth group is an avid writer. She has a hunger for expressing herself on pen and paper and she is eager to write her first book. She has read my first book and is waiting patiently for my second novel to be released so she can read that too. She is an avid reader too. The thing is, as much as she loves to write, she is already asking the question so many young people ask at her age...can she make a "living" out of writing? Eeeeeeek!

Since going on this writing, publishing journey over a year ago, I am still coming to terms with what it means to sell and market books. I'm convinced that there are spectacular writers out there but so very, very few who actually make it "big" in the industry. For all intents and purposes, the industry is a very, very discouraging place for would-be novelists.

I read somewhere that traditional publishers only publish 2% of manuscripts that are sent to them. That means they turn 98% of authors away. Certainly a few of those authors are those who have vastly over-estimated their writing ability. (Ever watch American Idol? Some of those people who can't carry a tune are actually shocked to be told they can't sing. Well the same holds true for writers. Some people were just never meant to write.) That said, traditional publishing houses are in the business to make money. They know what kinds of books are popular and what will sell immediately. It's not only who you know in the business, it's what you know about the business that will determine whether or not a traditional publishing house will even look at you.

So why write?

I have been writing since I was in elementary school. I had amazing teachers who encouraged me to write. I never thought I would actually have one of my stories published. I didn't write to become published (although I know that to be the goal for many a writer). No,...I wrote because I just LOVED to write. It's a form of expressing myself.

My biology teacher in high school signed my yearbook "To the only literary biologist I know!" When I handed in an essay, in any subject area except Math, my teachers could expect a treatise that Tolstoy would be proud of. (My editor will tell you that he spends most of his time slashing and cutting down on my verbiage...sorry Evan.)

I would say I am "driven" to write. It's part of who I am. I am called by God to write and so I write. I told my husband when my book, Shoot the Wounded, was published that if one person read it and liked it, I would be happy. Well, God has greatly blessed that effort. 

For me, writing has become an expression of praise and worship to God. He has gifted me with this talent so every time I write, I am praising Him with my gift. So I say, to all my young writer friends out there, go ahead and write! If God has called you to write, go for it! Write for the sheer enjoyment of writing, and write to glorify the One who gave you the talent and the ability to write!
"Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, Who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word." 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
Did you catch that last part? "...strengthen you in every good deed and word." That should be a great encouragement to all those writers out there.

~ originally published in FellowScript, Nov 2012


  1. What an encouragement your posting is writers, and especially to those just starting out.

    I'm so glad you shared a little of your own story. And that you are just doing what you've been designed to do... write!

  2. Your writing encouraged me and I'm only young in spirit. Sometimes we miss a key word in a scripture verse we are familiar with. Isn't it ironic that I as a writer missed the word, "word?"

    May God strengthen all of us in deed and word. Thanks for your blog, Lynn.

  3. Great blog... Just write and see what God will do. Do it for an audience of One.

  4. Yes! Lynn, this is exactly the truth. Even if we never make it big (as in make a living) we can still write for the enjoyment and for the ministry it may provide to even one other person

  5. I lived a life time wanting to write (I wrote a lot of professional technical stuff), but until I retired I didn't attempt much beyond that.
    Now retired, making a living is not a priority--I can just enjoy writing and leaving a legacy for my growing number of descendants.
    With eight books so far, and couple more in the works, I feel this has been an especially productive time of my life.
    Now our writers' group, Write Clique, is filling with younger writers with some amazing talent--they teach me!
    It's a wonderful life.

  6. Lynn, this is a great reminder that writing is something that is inside us that brings great joy when it comes out, whether our writing is considered worthwhile by others or not. I have a friend who carves wooden poles into beautiful hiking sticks, and they are only seen by someone who happens to come over. But it brings joy to the carver! Keep writing what's in your heart, and thanks for the encouragement.


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