Thursday, July 14, 2011

Some lessons in literary bravery from Quitter and Kristen Anderson

A few days ago, a friend of mine suggested I check out a book by Jon Acuff called "Quitter." It's not like I didn't know about him and his latest book. I even intended to check it out... eventually. But Jess's suggestion wasn't just casual advice, it felt a little more pointed and I definitely took her suggestion to heart.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find it on iBooks so I'll probably be picking up a copy at Ruth's in the mall very soon.

In the meantime, I've been reading his blog (jonacuff.com) and a recent post jumped out at me.

Read: 3 things publishers look for in new authors.
(It's a quick read, I promise.)

I've heard this type of advice before but I liked being able to read it in direct question form. It made it a lot more poignant to reword the questions Acuff says most publishers ask new authors by asking myself...

Is my topic a good idea? Can I write good well enough? Do I have a sufficient platform?

There are other, even more terrifying, questions I ask myself. Some I ask all the time and others creep up on me when I least expect them. I keep many of those to myself. For now...

You see, I want to approach writing with a little more bravery than before. And that scares the hell out of me, as @grumpyeric might say.

But I'm also pretty excited about it at the same time. There are stories inside that I want to tell and advice that I want to give that I really believe has great potential for helping others.

The other day I was on my work to work well before the sun was up. I had the radio on low and started overhearing a portion of a radio interview. I heard a young woman sharing a compelling story about being raped by someone she knew, the deaths of close friends and family and the depression that ensued.

I normally don't listen to Christian talk radio and I definitely don't regularly tune in for Focus On The Family, but the conviction she spoke with was very real and her story was extraordinary, including her description of losing her legs in a failed suicide attempt and ultimately the hope she found in Jesus Christ.

It turns out her name is Kristen Jane Anderson and she has a book, "Life, In Spite of Me." You can check out her story and information on her ministry here: reachingyouministries.com

I only heard a portion of the interview before I had to go into work and I haven't had a chance to read the book. But I will say that she has a story worth telling and I don't care if it's a radio interview, a book, a blog or face-to-face -- it needs to be told!

There are days when I feel like my story is worth telling -- the one I haven't yet told in its entirety. The one I'm still working on. There are other days when I can't help but ask, "Does the world need another writer?"

Jess thinks "Quitter" will help me answer some of my questions. I hope she's right.

In the meantime, I've always got this blog...

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Questions

Anyone out there read "Quitter" yet? Anyone hear Kristen Anderson's story?

Fill in the blank: Does the world need another _________? What might your blank be?

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