In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Laura Martin (L.L. Martin), author of “Positively Powerless.” For more info about Laura, check out her blog at “Enough Light.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today!
I’ve been an avid informal writer most of my life. I enjoy the old-fashioned hobby of postal letter writing, and I self-published a print newsletter. In recent years, I blog about Christianity. Several individuals encouraged me to write a Christian non-fiction book, but I was uncertain about the topic. Subjects that interested me had already been extensively published on, and I did not have anything new or unique to add to the conversation.
However, I had long observed a number of weaknesses in modern American Christianity, which seemed connected by an underlying false optimism. I stumbled upon a book about the history of “positive thinking” in America and the idea for my own book was born. It is entitled: Positively Powerless, How a Forgotten Movement Undermined Christianity.
Some aspiring authors are certain about their book’s topic, but if you are uncertain, don’t despair. Pray about it, and keep writing informally. If it is meant to be, the idea will eventually present itself. Meanwhile, just keep writing and find your voice: journal, write letters, start a blog, leave thoughtful comments on the blog posts of others.
It is my opinion that writing a book is something you build up too. If you can’t write brief and informal things, how will you suddenly write something lengthy and formal? My informal writing paved the way. It turned out that I had already blogged about some of the topics that became a part of my book, and the puzzle pieces fit together nicely when I began to write it.
Informal writing will also hone your skills. Be open to critique about your writing ability. I consider writing both a natural talent and a learned skill. If you have been out of school for years, you may need a refresher course on grammar and syntax. Choppy writing can be a problem, and learning to form better sentences can help your ideas flow smoothly and appeal to the reader. Through informal writing, you can practice and perfect your skills before plunging into a book project.
Have you contemplated the idea of success for a distinctly Christian book? While we naturally want to sell books, numbers are not everything. I’d rather have my book get into the “right” hands – that is, those who will be spiritually helped and challenged by its message. As I researched my book, I was intrigued by how a forgotten movement from the late nineteenth century impacts us to this very day. Unfortunately, its influence weakened Christianity, and I hope to help Christians break free from hidden chains and be re-established in a God-centered life.
– WBP –
WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation and length.