Wednesday, October 31, 2018

It’s a Scary Writing World Out There! by Sandra Ardoin

When I was growing up, Halloween was a day when little kids ran from house to house, dressed in silly, sometimes too-large, costumes, and collected more candy than their tummies would comfortably allow them to consume in one evening. It was innocent fun—mostly, not a holiday recognized for pagan origins or costumes Freddy Krueger can appreciate. It wasn’t for teens and adults but for children.

What does Halloween have to do with writing? Nothing but my strained imagination. It occurred to me that the more serious we become about publishing, the spookier the writing life gets.

When we first dream up an epic story of love, inspiration, or adventure—when we’re writer-tots—we have such innocent attitudes toward the business. We put on our writer costume and naïvely set out to gather treats while traipsing the publishing path. As time passes and our hard work racks up refusals, when our hopes for publication begin to dim, we suddenly realize we’ve entered…

The Eerie Woods of the Rejected

Photo Courtesy of Jordan Stimpson / Pixabay

It’s dark in there, and we have no idea when, or if, we’ll ever find our way out. Ooh, there’s that voice that hisses in an unnerving tone, “You’re wasting your time. You’re a failure. Your work will never see publication. Turn back before it’s too late.”

But stubbornness kicks in, and we trudge forward.

Then, through the skeletal trees, we spot a beam of encouragement—a contest win or a request for a full manuscript. We creep forward, ignoring the moaning and groaning around us. Eventually, we break out into the glorious meadow of our first publishing sale.

But wait!

As we bask in the full moon that shines on our achievement, fog billows behind us and clouds roll in to cover the moon with doubts that we can achieve the same or greater success. The trolls of marketing chase us into the path of the ogre of procrastination and we dodge the sharp claws of the writer’s block beast.

Okay. Enough of that nonsense. The point is this. The more we grow in our abilities and experience—the more we study craft—the scarier the writing life can become, because we know more about it. These days, we hear that the Christian fiction market is fading, traditional publishing slots are shrinking, Amazon and other retailers are glutted with books. There seems no end to the bad news.

But you know what? You don’t have to cower in front of your computer. If God is behind your writing endeavor, He’ll prepare the way, even if your words are only meant to encourage or inspire one other person in their walk. Are you knocking on His door to receive His encouraging treat?

Today, share one thing about the writing life that scares you, and then share why you continue to follow that path.

Speaking of spooky (or not), in February 2019, my historical romance novella A Love Most Worthy releases. Do you want to see the cover? I'm dying to reveal it... 

**sigh** I can't until after my newsletter community sees it in a couple of weeks. 

(Oh, yes. Consider that my idea of a Halloween trick. :) )


Sandra Ardoin engages readers with page-turning stories of love and faith. She’s the author of the heartwarming novella, The Yuletide Angel and the award-winning novel, A Reluctant Melody. Look for the mail-order bride novella A Love Most Worthy coming in February 2019. 

Rarely out of reach of a book, she's also an armchair sports enthusiast, country music listener, and seldom says no to eating out. Visit her at Subscribe to receive updates and specials. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and BookBub.


  1. Great article! My manuscript for The "Plan A" Diet is in the hands of my editor and will release next year. The scariest (unknown) parts at this stage are LOGISTICS. How to do a book launch, the best method to use for credit cards, how to efficiently mail books. These are the unknowns of the scary woods right now, which may not seem like much, but they represent uncharted waters which require time to explore and learn. God has my back, so nothing is too hard :)

    1. God has your back, absolutely! The logistics come with experience, asking questions, and studying what others have done. Attend a few book launches if they're done on social media. See what seems to work and what doesn't. Just an FYI... When you mail books, book rate is by far the cheapest. However, the post office will not allow you to put ANY extra paper in the envelope and still mail it at book rate. So, if you want to add a sheet of notepaper asking them to review the book with their HONEST opinion, it's not allowed.

      Best wishes for your upcoming release!

  2. For me, fear is not as hard to face when I consider living with regrets. And I know Someone Who always has my back. <3 So proud of you, Sandy, for facing your fears! And I cannot wait for you to reveal the cover of A Love Most Worthy! You go, girl!

    1. Aww... Much of the reason why I'm facing those fears is because you encouraged me to do so. Thank you, Dora!

      Yes, we don't want to look back on times in our lives and only hear the words "I should have...".

  3. Great post, Sandy! So relatable! We think that the next thing will satisfy us and shout to the world that we've arrived. But "the next thing" brings its own challenges. Thanks for sharing this perspective!

    1. Thank you, Annette. That's so true. I guess it's just part of growing, and that's something we need to keep doing as writers.

  4. One thing that scares me is the possibility of letting my friends and family down. I don't ever want to publish something that isn't worth reading and be labeled a fraud.

    1. But, I keep writing because it's one of the most fulfilling things I've ever done in my life - and the encouragement I receive from writer friends and readers.

      And I can't wait to see the final cover for A Love Most Worthy!

    2. Thanks, Dawn! Feeling like a fraud is an issue I think we all face at one time or another. But you don't need to worry about that! Definitely keep writing! I'm waiting for that next series. :)

  5. Sandy, great (and fun) post! Love how you tied it to Halloween.

    My fear is sitting down and not being able to write, but finding out my creativity is gone.

    1. Thanks, Terri. I'm sure that fear is unfounded, but I can certainly relate, so let's just plug on through those scary doubts and write our way to the other side! :)


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