Sunday, November 22, 2009

Where Are You Going?

Today I went to my Maine Fellowship of Christian Writers group.  It's in a quaint town called China Village.  China, Maine that is.  Maine has all kinds of names of countries for their country towns.  Pun intended. It should take about a half an hour for me to get there.  Key word: should.

There's an expression that Mainah's say, "You can't get there from here." So, being directionally challenged that I am, which is not a good thing in a rural area with landmarks few and far between, I proved that statement. 

The hostess lives near (on, between, past, whatever) the fire road.  If you don't know what a fire road is, it's a lane created in rural areas where there are few streets so the firetrucks can get through.  Notice the picture below.  Obviously I was nowhere near a fire road.  But, the view was so pretty I had to get out and try out the new camera I got for my birthday!

 At last I realized there was never going to be a fire road out here.  So I turned around a headed back out to the main road, over hill and dale.

Now you know, it isn't easy being a writer when you live out in the boonies.  But if Stephen King can do it, I can too!

I finally arrived to the group of my peers. When we broke in to small groups, the conversation caused me to consider the  direction my writing is taking. I have a series of children's stories that I wrote 17 years ago and have never tried to get published.  It almost makes me feel neglectful.  Aw, it does. Today, historicals are my passion, though I also write inspirational non-fiction (Christian growth, etc.).  Much has been said about building a platform and finding a genre for which you can  develop an audience.  So which way to turn?  I'm sensing that I should submit whatever I have closest to completion and take it from there.  But as I said, I am directionally challenged.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

What direction is your writing taking you? What challenges to your writing career do you encounter?


  1. What an awesome-looking blog! I love your header! :)

    Great choice of scripture - one of my favorites. I think my writing is taking me on a long and winding road up a steep mountaintop.

  2. Thanks, Shannon! I tried to depict me - only problem, if it were really accurate I would have to lose about a zillion pounds!

    Yes, I love that scripture.

    Writing is a journey, and from what I hear, there are many mountains and valleys and then new journeys all the time. Put your hiking shoes on and make sure you enjoy the adventure as you climb until your dreams come true!

  3. Yours is the second blog today that has made me think about what direction my writing should take. lately, I've been trying different areas, when what I know I do best is songwrting. Does that mean I should just stick with songs? Not necessarily, if the Lord directs me otherwise. But that's the question...who's directing?! At 50ish, you'd think I'd be more settled!

  4. Hi Deborah, oh, don't say that! I'll be 50 in two years and I'm still trying to figure it out myself! I really think a lot of women in their 40's - 60's are just getting going with their writing. It's a good time in their lives. At least I think so.

    What do you do with your songs? Do others sing them, have any been published, is it a personal thing? What else do you like to write?

    Shannon, what do you enjoy writing?

  5. Hi Carla! Your blog looks great. I love the rural story. I used to live in the boonies, but civilization (at least, that's what "They" call it!) has crept over us like a fungus. (I'm in central MA)

    I have a hard time with the platform/branding thing. I write Christian Fiction, and it always ends up with a strong romance plot. But also suspense/mystery. I've written historical and contemporary. So what's my platform? LOL The worst part is an editor told me my contemporary isn't romance enough for them - it's more suspense w/romance elements. But the romance is key to the plot. How frustrating! (I took her words to heart, though, and did my best to pump up the romance from the start - still waiting to hear if it worked).

    Best wishes on your writing journey, and on not getting lost in rural Maine. Much worse than rural MA!


  6. Hello Carla!

    I have had to take a good, hard look at the direction my writing is going. I have attempted several different genres, but my heart lies with young adult fantasy adventure. Sometimes it's hard to commit, but the important thing is to be passionate about something, put all you have into it, and once you're there, once you've got several sold books under your belt, you can branch out and try something new and exciting! That's not to say we're limited, but I believe it's important to commit to one specific genre at the beginning.

    Wonderful blog you have here! I love the design! And thank you so much for following mine :) I really appreciate it. Have a blessed day and I look forward to visiting often.


  7. Carla, You are multi-talented with the non-fiction and children's element! I feel very hemmed in with simply historicals:) You remind me of Lori B.

    You're so right. Writing is a journey. Sometimes the path feels pretty rocky and tiring but God knows just which way is right for each of us. And none of our paths looks the same! Further evidence of His creativity. Even after publication, things can be daunting. But He has every detail in hand.

  8. Interestingly, I've been obsessing about Maine since the summer. Don't ask me why, but I'll study a map, choose the name of an interesting town and google it. From the pictures you've shown us here it looks beautiful.

    I'd love to live in the country, but I'm a city girl and a public tansit commuter so I don't know how I'd get around. Maybe by dog cart? I'd love that!

    I think the biggest challenge I have found with my writing is finding time. I work two jobs and spend an hour commuting by bus each day, so it's hard to find a block of time that I can dedicate to writing. I've had to adapt and write in snippets -- ten minutes here, fifteen minutes there. It's slow going, but atleast I'm moving along the road.

  9. It seems that whenever I bite off fiction it ends up being for the young adult audience. My last venture even involved song writing FOR my YA novel. When Mulletman and I went to set some of the lyrics to music we had to be careful to keep it "young", if you know what I mean.

    My word verification is "thippiti" - which makes me want to sing:

    Thippiti doo-dah, Thippiti-ay, My-oh-my what a wonderful day! Pleanty of sunshine headin' my way. Thippiti doo-dah, thippiti ay!

  10. I can just here you singing Thippity doo dah, Groovy! Jen here writes young adult fantasy and Deborah is a songwriter, too.

    Kav, Groovy is another Mainah. I don't technically qualify because I'm "from away" (MA), but I do take up residence here and I must say, I love the pace of life here. I like to take virtual field trips, too.

    Isn't it funny how we so often just naturally gravitate toward a genre. That should say something about the path our writing should take. But for those of us like Tammy, Jen, and myself with a few genres going I think Jen has the advice that the publishing industry tells us, to start with something and build an audience and then branch out. So, where to begin???? I'm taking that natural path of historicals because that's where I am right now. And when the time is right, I'll polish up some of my other work.

    Another key work: time. Like you said, Kav, time is a great factor when it comes to writing. I used to put so much pressure on myself to write. Now I try to enjoy it and relax a little. A lesson learned, it's important, but it is not urgent. So everyone, please remind me of that when I get the writing crazies.

    Laura, your words of wisdom I think are something we could all keep in mind. We all have a unique journey. "God knows just which way is right for each of us."
    Thanks for the reminder!

    Glad you are enjoying the blog everyone!

  11. My writing takes me to learning more about me and people in general. More faith to discover, and to learn patient persistence, and clamp tight to determination.

    Rejections always make me reevaluate if this is what I'm supposed to be doing. After the sting is gone, I always come back to the same answer.

  12. hi, Carla
    Love your Maine musings. Wonderful graphics on your blog header, too! The Lord bless your journey with direction and open doors!

  13. Carla,
    Thank you for the comment on my blog and the invitation to visit yours. We do have a lot in common, very close in age, Christians, writers and live in the rural north. I almost never get lost, however, even in the woods. :)

  14. Thank you both, Kathleen and Peg, for stopping by.

    I hope all of you will have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


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