Monday, October 18, 2010

Testing the Wind.

When you want to see which way the wind is blowing, you have several options. Check the weather channel or your daily newspaper. Find a weather vane and risk blindness by staring up into the sun to see which the thing ispointing, or, the easiest and least foolproof method I know of - stand outside, suck on your finger then stick it high into the air.
You can feel the wind, can't you?
Well, unless of course there is no wind. But you've found out what you wanted to know anyway. By the way, I really don't recommend this method in the middle of a hurricane. The wind is blowing folks, stay inside.
So what's up with the wind metaphor?
I'll tell you.
If you read any writer's blogs, if you are a writer or know one, you're probably well aware that the publishing world is never easy to break into. Of late, it's pretty darn near impossible. Especially if you are targeting the Christian market. The publishing houses are, for the most part, smaller, and extremely picky about who they take on.
Maybe that'll change, maybe it won't. The long and the short of it is that it's just a hard time all around, especially if you write romance or women's fiction. Which I do.
I had a really good chat with my agent the other day, and we talked about the ABA markets for a while. (That's the secular market, publishers that are not exclusively Christian, Penguin, Random House etc...). After a brief debate on the possibilities of my writing the next big breakout Amish/Vampire meets Harry Potter novel, we decided that's probably not the best direction for me. Which brought us back to the question of whether or not my writing might find a home within ABA.
To be honest, after giving this much thought, I don't really mind whether I'm a Christian who writes or a Christian who writes Christian books. If I were to be published within the ABA, I'd be okay with that.
Who I am in Christ will not change.
What will change is the way I choose to weave God's truths into my writing. I'm always up for a challenge and I believe it can be done. Has been and is being done.
It'll take some research and investigation and extra reading to figure out who's doing it and how, but I believe there's a whole world out there who needs to catch a glimpse of their Father, and I know half of them will never pick up a "Christian" book. After all, who doesn't want a little hope?
I'm not saying there isn't a need for those books either, because of course there is. I'm just not feeling like I'm called to write them.
So I have my work cut out for me. I'm back to revising another manuscript that hasn't gone anywhere with CBA publishers, although the majority of the editors comments were super encouraging. I'm excited to see what will happen with it now.
Do you ever have that feeling that things are about to change? You're not sure when or how, maybe you're aren't even sure why, but you just know they will.
That's where I am.
I'm sticking my finger up in the air to find out which way the wind is blowing.
And I'm trusting God to give me the answer.

PS: The answer is yes, I'm still waiting on news about my Vietnam book. Still. Waiting.


Katie Ganshert said...

Anticipating change is always an exciting time! I'm praying something big's in store for you, girl!

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

Good luck in the process of testing the new winds!

Heather Sunseri said...

Very nice post, Catherine. I understand that feeling well. And I understand having our work cut out for us. Wishing the very best for you!!