Friday, April 21, 2017

Just Keep Writing by Candice Sue Patterson

Candice  Sue Patterson

What are some of the challenges you face as a Christian writer? Author Candice Sue Patterson names five common hindrances that we can all probably relate to, and she offers encouragement on how to handle them. ~ Dawn

Just Keep Writing

As Christian Fiction writers, I sometimes feel like we paint a giant target on our back for Satan to throw his poisonous darts at. Not that we purposely taunt the devil, but we definitely get his attention with the messages we weave into our manuscripts. He smells the truth and hope in our plotlines the way us country folk smell fertilizer in the spring. It hits with force and lingers, and Satan doesn’t want that.

So, he attacks.

I’m currently writing my fifth book, and I’ve felt his resistance, in some way, throughout every single one. Even now. Praise God, His strength and wisdom conquers. (Can I get an “Amen?”) I’m not here today to whine and complain about how tough an author’s job can be, but to show you some of Satan’s tactics from his book How to Discourage a Christian Writer and how to overcome them.

Doubt. The force is strong with this one. We solidify a great plot, get the go-ahead from God, and a few chapters in, we close our laptops, drop our head into our hands, and wonder how we ever came to be an author in the first place. The characters aren’t complex enough. There are holes in the storyline. Were our previous stories a glitch in the minds and computers of our publishing team? Had to be. We no longer possess an ounce of talent, if we ever did. 

Change. Nothing like the dynamics of your life changing to throw off your writing mojo. I’m not saying these life changes are orchestrated by the devil. These changes may be part of God’s perfect plan for your life. However, Satan is very crafty at oppressing us with fear and anxiety as we transition, throwing our scheduled and focused writing off balance. It’s hard to throw your characters into tough situations when you’re in the midst of slogging through your own.

Health. I don’t know about you, but when I don’t feel good writing is the last thing on my mind. Give me a cup of coffee, my pajamas, a warm blanket, my couch, a good book, and I’ll see you on the flipside. But sometimes what ails us is more serious than a two-day virus or a high pollen count. Our health affects our mood, concentration, and energy. Deadlines are looming, and Satan loves to kick us while we’re down.

Rejection. Your plot is unique, the proposal sound, and that agent acted interested, yet you still received a resounding NO. You toss rejection number fifty-seven into your computer’s trash bin and decide to give up. Before you do, envision Satan’s fist-pumping victory dance on your dreams. Yes, you’re disappointed. You’re shedding tears over another dead end, and that’s okay. Pick yourself back up, roll up your sleeves, poise those fingers, and write a bestseller.

Your way. The novel you’ve spent the last three years writing with that large publishing house in mind has been replaced by a reputable small press. Their covers aren’t shiny as the big house, nor the paper as high-quality. Your book won’t grace the shelves of every bookstore across the nation. Your paycheck won’t come near the five digits you were hoping would be deposited in your bank account so you can pay off some bills or attend a conference.

Paraphrased, God’s ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:9). It’s okay if reality veers off the path of our dream. It’s HIS job to place our books into the hands of the readers who need it. It’s our job to write what He tells us to write.

There are many other hindrances I could mention, but you get the gist. So what should you do if plagued by a writing roadblock? If Finding Nemo’s Dory were an author, she’d say, “Just keep writing.” Even if it’s only for five minutes a day. Keep pounding away until Satan gets bored and moves on. I know it’s hard. I’ve been there too.

Just keep writing.

Weddings are the last thing beekeeper Huck Anderson wants to be associated with, considering his past. So when he inherits a building occupied by a bridal boutique, he aims to evict the failing business and open a sporting goods store. That is until his tenant ends up being Arianne Winters, a woman he's indebted to from a mistake made years ago.

When a life-threatening injury derails Huck entirely, Arianne offers a compromise to keep her boutique and her life out of bankruptcy—she'll aid in his lengthy recovery if he'll allow her to remain in his building. But nursing her adversary proves challenging when her adolescent crush resurfaces.

Amidst a battle-of-wills, their lives intertwine in unexpected ways, providing opportunity to overcome their pasts and start anew. Will this confirmed bachelor consider holy-matrimony, or will Huck's choices sting them a second time?

Candice Sue Patterson studied at the Institute of Children’s Literature and is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons in a restored farmhouse overtaken by books. Candice writes Modern Vintage Romance—where the past and present collide with faith. Her debut novel How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart was a 2012 ACFW First Impressions finalist and made INSPYs Longlist for 2016. For more on Candice, visit her website at

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