A ‘myth’ I believed about being an author

A ‘myth’ I believed about being an author

What was the ‘myth’ I believed about being an author? That it was a solitary task. In one sense it is – for large stretches of time BUT it is also a huge TEAM effort.

Really that shouldn’t have been a surprise for isn’t that how God works? Through community.

Over the last four years as I’ve practiced and worked towards producing a novel (very much like childbirth but much longer), God has brought person after person into the process.

A short list of some of the team members in the early stages

1. A neighbour – I’d just decided to have breast cancer as a major element in the story. The lady who ‘happened’ to live next to me in 2013, had just completed chemotherapy. She graciously allowed me to interview her for several hours and some of her observations are used in the novel.

2. A breast cancer specialist – he just ‘happened’ to be a prayer supporter of mine. He was enthusiastic about the story and served as my medical expert, answering all sorts of chemo and surgery related questions for the time period of the book – 1995 rather than 2015.

3. Cancer blogs and websites – I found these via using the internet. What a privilege to live at a time where research is so much easier than the past. I looked up topics like: –

*side effects of various chemo drugs
*wigs and headgear
*surviving chemo

I feel like I’ve had cancer and gone through the whole process. The writer’s of all that information aren’t even aware that they were part of my team.
4. Author tools online
Google helped me find the ‘snowflake’ method that I used to plan and outline the novel.

A short list of some of the team members in the later stages

5. Mentors from competitions – Many of the competitions I’ve entered have given me feedback. All of it has improved my writing. The first competition I entered promised a mentor, if we reached the final. Mine was in the US and we communicated via email.

6. Beta readers – these are people who have read early drafts of the book and given me feedback. Each person has had a specialty. One was good at realistic dialogue for the ages/personality of my characters. Another spotted inaccurate medical details.

7. Other authors – in October 2015, God led me to a facebook group called ‘Australasian Christian Writers.’ They share many useful articles and have shown me I’m not alone. They are a group of ‘cheerleaders’ working hard to encourage us southern writers to write with excellence.

8. Online podcasts – Recently I have been listening to many podcasts about marketing and publishing. I’ve also watched lots of ‘how to’ videos and benefitted immensely.

9. Professional editors & designersIola Goulton in New Zealand, Cecily Paterson & Joy Lankshear (cover and layout) in Australia. I know that some people have awful experiences with editors …but I am so grateful that God led me to suitable people who worked well with me. It is often just a personality thing and we’ve learned to adjust to each other method’s. I am conscious that without these last three my book wouldn’t have been much good. They found the diamond and helped me polish it. Really their names should be on the cover with mine.

10. Advance Readers

An enthusiastic team of volunteers who have proofread the novel. They will also function as a street team and pass on the word to others.

And many, many more.

I am so thankful to God for my team.

6 thoughts on “A ‘myth’ I believed about being an author

  1. Some great thoughts there Christine. I’ve always found that working in a team really helps with writing, whether it’s in practical hands-on help or just in the encouragement that it provides. Iron sharpens iron. Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. What a great reminder! Thanks so much for sharing. I have had a similar experience with so many wonderful people being willing to give me their time and share their wisdom. Writing can be such an amazing experience because it brings us into contact with so many generous people. Thank you for helping me remember that.

  3. Hi Christine,
    Wow yes, it does take team work indeed. I used to believe that myth too. But by the time we get to the end, we learn that it’s similar to the saying that it takes a village to raise a child. It takes a team of dedicated supporters to help create a book.

  4. So true that writing is both a solitary and a communal experience. I love my beta-readers, the editors and mentors and the encouragers along the way. I had a similar experience in discovering Christian Writers Downunder & Omega Writers. It opened up a whole new world and I have learnt so much and been inspired and encouraged by the different writing groups and writers that God has put in my path. Great post, thanks Christine.

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