August 2018: Writing Advice
~ Kelly Goshorn ~
QUESTION: What is the one piece of writing advice that has stuck with you and why? (Something other than ‘write what you know.’)
Kelly Goshorn said:
The Best Advice I Ever Received–Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
I’d been writing seriously for about two years in April 2014 when I sat at my computer looking at the all the comments in red I’d received from a contest entry—””deepen the POV here, more detailed description there, and you used the word ‘gaze’ seven times in this scene.” While I knew the judge’s comments were intended to help me improve, I felt overwhelmed and way out of my league.
I closed the laptop and shook a mental fist at God. “Why did you call me to such a ridiculously unattainable task?” The names of my favorite authors flooded my mind—Tamera Alexander, Karen Witemeyer and Julie Lessman. I failed miserably in comparison.
Discouraged, I slumped over my computer and sobbed. “I can’t write like them, Lord. Why are you asking me do this?” As the tears streamed from my face, another voice spoke to my heart.
That’s right, you can’t write like them.
Wait. What? That wasn’t exactly the encouragement I was hoping for, God. Maybe a “keep at it, you’ll get there” or something. Then He spoke again. This time zinging my heart like only He can do with His timeless truth.
I don’t want you to write like them. I want you to write like you.
Reality struck. The only one expecting me to write like someone else, was me. A great burden lifted from my shoulders. My God who placed this desire in my heart didn’t want me to be anyone else but who he created me to be. I began praying for his inspiration as I wrote each day and while there were still many ups and downs along my road to publication, I no longer lived in the shadow of wanting to be like someone else.
A friend sent me this quote which I printed and pinned to the messy bulletin board that hangs above my writing desk.
Comparison is the thief of joy.
I do believe God has given me a gift for weaving words, but where that talent will take me is likely to be quite different from where it will take Julie Lessman. And that’s fine with me. After all, any talent He may bestow on us as writers, even in the tiniest measure, isn’t granted to make us feel good about ourselves or even for others to read an entertaining, well-written story.
The purpose of His gifts is always to glorify the Giver.
A Love Restored
[Inspirational Historical Romance]
With pert opinions and a less-than-perfect figure, Ruth Ann Sutton doesn’t measure up to society’s vision of a perfect lady. When she accepts a position teaching in a Freedman’s School, it threatens the only marriage offer Ruth Ann is likely to receive. She’s forced to choose between life as a lonely spinster or reinventing herself to secure a respectable proposal.
Determined to rise above his meager beginnings, Benjamin Coulter’s reputation as a fast learner and hard worker earn him the opportunity to apprentice with a surveyor for the railroad—a position that will garner the respect of other men. After a chance encounter with Ruth Ann Sutton, Benjamin is smitten with her pretty face, quick wit, and feisty personality.
When others ridicule his choice, will Benjamin listen to his heart or put ambition first?
Available in Ebook: