by DiAnn Mills
• Chase: to pursue
• Light: a source of illumination
• You: the committed writer
What does chasing the light of story mean to you? Do you find it difficult to focus on what aspect motivates your creative muse?
Writers pursue stories to illuminate the readers’ hearts and minds. It’s a big undertaking, and at times overwhelming. But not impossible.
For some writers, the chase is a high concept, a compelling twist, incredible setting, or intricate characters. All the parts of story-from premise to theme and plot-carries the characters and the readers on an unforgettable journey. Passion leads the way.
Writers who chase the light to entertain readers are filled with enthusiasm for their book project. They see their story through the lenses of a movie camera, experiencing each scene through sensory perception.
Your chase could be a new approach to social media, a way of viewing community that draws readers into a writer’s corner of the world with helpful information and a unique spin on life. One of the most valuable pieces of advice I ever received was, “Social media is not about me.” I learned the art of community is a ministry dedicated to giving without anticipation of selling book or increasing followers.
Others may view the chase as meeting a deadline early and hitting “send,” and a celebration to follow. The statistics for writers who do not turn a manuscript in on time is extremely high. May the odds be ever in your favor!
Editing can be viewed as chasing the light. When a team of editors point out the outstanding aspects of plot, character, dialogue, setting, and the areas to be massaged or deleted, the manuscript is perfected. Oh, the sunshine when the process is completed.
A chase after marketing and promotion can be daunting, but conducted in a systematic way aimed at a writer’s audience can be fun. Yes, fun. I love the complexity of a sound plan that focuses on story and the many venues to capture a reader’s attention. We all have our personal favorites, but writing blogs for websites who value my genre, forming relationships with libraries, planning bookstore events, speaking about the subject matter of my novel, and lining up media interviews are an opportunity to show my excitement for my corner of the world.
Some writers view their chase for light in the money earned from their craft. Bills have to be paid and marketing and promotion need funds to support a writer’s dream. Writers with day jobs often find it’s easier to compose story when everyday expenses are handled through other means. They understand their light is working free of financial stress.
Chasing after light can be a spiritual awakening, a warming of the spirit. I’m a firm believer a writer can’t expect a story penned in blood, sweat, and tears to inspire a reader to become a better person, unless the creation process first draws the writer closer to God and His purpose. The light shines on the everlasting impact on readers.
I challenge you to view chasing the light as all of the above bundled together into a package titled, “The Insightful Writer of Today.” Motivation is what creates one lucent story after another.
How are you chasing the light of your writing career?
DiAnn Mills is an award winning writer who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She currently has more than fifty-five books published.
Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists and have won placements through the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Carol Awards and Inspirational Reader’s Choice awards. DiAnn won the Christy Award in 2010 and 2011.
DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Romance Writers of America, Faith, Hope & Love, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn is also a Craftsman mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild.