Writing Books that Matter
I was in the window seat, thumbing through my recent issue of “Writer’s Digest,” just waiting for the plane to take off when a mother and her young daughter sat down next to me.
“Don’t worry, babe,” the mom comforted. “You’re going to be all right. We both will.”
But the little girl didn’t seem so sure. She fidgeted, hid her face in her stuffed unicorn, and eventually, her tears flowed.
She was afraid. Very afraid.
The mom in me wanted to help. I was so thankful I had listened to that still small Voice when I packed my briefcase that morning.
“Is this your first flight?” I asked the little girl.
Without looking at me, she nodded.
“It’s a first flight for both of us,” her mom quickly added. “And we’re both a little scared.”
I locked eyes with the mama. “I’m a children’s author. Would it be Ok if I shared one of my books with your daughter?”
“Of course,” she answered.
I reached down and pulled out my book, “I Will Not Be Afraid” (Concordia Publishing House) and handed it to the little girl.
“I wrote this book for my little girls when they were afraid,” I told her. “I want you to have it.”
She looked up at me with her big brown teary eyes and gave me just a hint of a smile. She and her mama read every page and every accompanying Bible verse about fear, and by the time the plane took off, a calmness had blanketed our row.
That, my friends, is why we do what we do.
Our words, whether written for children or adults, hold great power. They can encourage, empower, educate, and comfort our readers. They can bring much-needed laughter, and they can provide a temporary escape into a world of story. As Christian writers, we can make a difference, and just knowing that fact should drive us to put in the hours studying the craft, learning the market, revising and rewriting, praying over every word, and promoting our books so they can go everyplace they were intended to go and do the important work they were destined to do.
I’m not saying as Christian writers we are expected to have all the answers, but I am saying this—we know the One who does! He can help us help our readers! And it’s our privilege to hold the hands of our readers and walk them through these difficult seasons.
Here’s your assignment. Make a list of the challenges you’ve faced, the demons you’ve battled, and the baggage that’s tried to weigh you down and steal your joy. Be specific when you make your list, attaching emotions to events or situations. Next, look at your list and ask, “Do people today still face these same types of situations? Is there room on the shelf for another book addressing this topic or emotion? And am I the one to write it?”
Once you’ve answered those questions, pray, and ask God for the best way to share your story so the pain you have experienced has purpose. Let it motivate you to write a powerful book for someone fighting a war you’ve already won. Or maybe craft comforting copy for a little girl sitting next to you on your next flight. Be excited God has chosen you for such a time as this…your healing words are needed now more than ever.
Question: What have you experienced that taught you important life lessons that could help someone else? Have you written on that subject yet? Would this material work best as an article, a blog, or a book?
Michelle Medlock Adams is a NY Times Best-selling ghostwriter and an award-winning author of more than 100 books including, They Call Me Mom, Cuddle-Up Prayers and Dachshund Through the Snow. Michelle is married to her high school sweetheart, Jeff, and they have two married daughters, five adorable grandchildren, two diva dogs, and a spoiled cat.