I’m so pleased to have Michelle Sutton as our guest author this Fortifying Friday. Michelle and I met in 2004 when she was the first person to befriend me through American Christian Fiction Writers. Both of us have grown since then. Neither of us are the novices we were seven years ago. But some things haven’t changed. Michelle is one of the most dedicated writers I know, and she still has a heart for using story to minister to readers. ~ Dawn
My Reason for Writing
by Michelle Sutton
Since I began writing fiction in 2003 I've learned to check my true motivation for writing every now and then. It's amazing how tempting it can be to forget the true purpose for creating novels and to go for the gold, so to speak. Whether it is money or recognition, sometimes it's hard to sit back and wait on God's timing. Not to mention the fact that it's easy to feel guilty spending money on something like a conference every year when you have no income to show for it. Thankfully, my husband told me to stop pressuring myself to justify the expenses and just write. What a good man, eh? Though I have never expected to get rich writing, I had hoped to make more than a few thousand dollars a year. Right now that will have to be enough. God has a plan. I just don't see the whole picture yet.
For me, true riches come from knowing that somehow my words touched another person's life. Like most authors, I hope to gain a significant readership so I can share my heart and my stories with a broader audience. While my numbers aren't staggering or big enough to impress the large publishers, for me they are still significant. Each reader holds a special place in my heart. Seriously. I've been published since 2008, and I still get a thrill each and every time someone reads one of my stories and "gets" the heart of the novel. I've never struggled to plot a story because I feel like each one is inspired to a degree by my faith and my journey in this life. I've been a deep thinker and feeler for as long as I can remember. That plays a major part in the creative process for me.
Sometimes I ponder where my deep thinking and feelings originated. Is it a gift from God, or a curse? I'm sure my mother having Multiple Sclerosis and being bedridden for twenty years has something to do with the way I see the world. My life wasn't normal and my perspective has never been typical. I feel that God still uses the ashes in my life by turning them into something that He can use. That's why I write. I don't want to waste anything in my life. Even the bad stuff I'd rather forget. And if sharing some of those things in a novel will minister to someone else, why would I want to hide them?
Yeah, I write for a reason. We all do. It's not for affirmation, though it sure is nice to hear someone tell you that your writing or story-telling is brilliant (what do they know, eh?) and at the same time it's not for mere entertainment. There is simply not enough time in the day for me to read or to write meaningless stories. Yeah, there is a purpose to all of this. There is a reason why I write. There is a reason you write too. Have you thought about that?
Michelle Sutton is the author of a dozen inspirational romance novels published between September 2008 and December 2011. She has six additional titles that will release through 2014. She lives in Arizona with her husband of over twenty one years and her two college-age sons.
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