Monday, May 1, 2017

Four Keys to Finding Your Writing Breakthrough

by Alycia W. Morales     @AlyciaMorales

It's been seven years since I started my writing career. Seven long years in which I've written two full-length novels and started a few more (some I've even made it halfway through). However, every time I get rejected, it's for the same reasons: episodic writing (translation: flat plot line with occasional peaks), a character who falls flat, or characters we don't have empathy for.

So I go back to the drawing board. Try again. Because I'm not a quitter, and I am a writer.

Have you ever felt like you keep hitting a brick wall and you really want breakthrough in your #writing? {Click to Tweet}

Here are a few things I've figured out as I've searched for breakthrough in my writing:

1. Be obedient to God. If you know He called you to write nonfiction, quit trying to write a novel. If He called you to write YA, stop trying to write contemporary romance for adults. If He called you to write for your family, quit seeking immediate publication. Be obedient, and breakthrough will follow.

2. Face your fears head on. One of my biggest fears is that if I dig deep enough, I'll be surprised by what comes out. I think part of me fears I'll face things I may have buried instead of allowing God to heal the hurts, and I don't really want to go there. So I avoid it in my writing. Which is probably the goldmine that would resolve my flat plot lines and characters. If I don't write, I don't have to dig deep. But then I'm being disobedient to God's call on my life. So I must tackle that fear and put words on the page until I find the golden thread for my story.

3. It's not about you. It's about what God can do with your story. It's about the people who will read it and what you will evoke from within them. Maybe someone will meet Jesus face to face in your novel. Maybe someone will find healing as she recognizes she's not the only one suffering in a particular area. Maybe someone will find a shred of hope and decide life is worth living. Get out of the way, we always tell authors. Don't interrupt the story with your own voice. Let the characters use theirs. Move over and invite the Lord into your work. When we write with Him, our words have far more meaning and purpose than when we choose to write alone.

4. Don't quit. Maybe you've seen the cartoon of the guy with the shovel digging the tunnel underground. He's about to reach his destination when he gives up and turns around. Don't be that guy. Most best-selling authors I know worked an average of eight years before they saw their first contract. And now they're making a decent living off their book sales. But even that takes time. Because you usually need four books published before you start seeing decent royalty checks. So keep digging deep and putting those words on the page. Don't give up on your dream. You never know when you'll hit that breakthrough spot.

Can you relate? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Especially if you have a breakthrough testimony that will encourage others. Thanks for sharing!

Four Things To Do for Your #Writing Breakthrough {Click to Tweet}

2 comments:

  1. I'm still looking for the breakthrough, but I'm with you that the first thing is to follow God's lead. Real, honest prayer every time I sit down to write makes all the difference. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and journey. It's very encouraging.

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    Replies
    1. I'm still looking for breakthrough in various areas of my writing (and life) too, Gail. It's definitely a journey! I'm glad you were encouraged. Thanks for sharing.

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