It’s a Roller Coaster World

ACFW Advice, Encouragement, Friends of ACFW, writing Leave a Comment

By Chandra Lynn Smith

I love, love, love roller coasters. High hills, steep drops, sharp jerky curves, sitting, standing, clunky wooden ones, smooth riding new ones, loop-de-loops–I love them all.

Who’d have thought this writing journey could be like a roller coaster? Of course, fifteen years ago when I climbed onto this ride I call, “So You Want to Be Published,” it did not take me long to realize it would be a wild one. And I was naïve enough to think once my journey included publishing the ride might actually even out and become boring. Go ahead all of you published authors I give you permission to chuckle at and with me.

The roller coaster has not become easy or boring. It is longer, hillier, more herky-jerky, and more breath-taking. Almost daily new challenges are added onto the ride. Words like marketing, memes, advertising, and promo bumps provide new twists and turns. Why, even checking for new reviews and the current rank on Amazon are huge, nerve-wracking uphills. About the moment, I am sure I face the largest hill with the biggest rush going down it, I realize another looms ahead. And, much to my excitement and chagrin, I have no idea what the ‘name’ of that hill is!

I’d like to share three tools to help you enjoy the ‘So You Think You Want to Be Published’ ride. First and foremost, long before you step onto the ride, remember the One Who writes this story WITH you. If you fix your eyes upon the Master Story Teller, the roller coaster will be the best ride of your life. Second, be sure you are securely locked into the process. The enemy would like nothing more than to derail your faith-filled writing. He uses discouragement, rejections, bad reviews, poor sales, and especially a writer’s own insecurities to make you want to pull the emergency brake on the ride. As long as you remain secure in the Savior’s Plan, Satan will fail. And third, ENJOY THE RIDE! Every good roller coaster has a moment in which you doubt your sanity in getting into the car in the first place. The best rides keep you screaming and trembling throughout. And, on those rides, as you speed into the gate, laughing and finger combing your wind-blown hair down, you know you will get off and go back into the long line to ride all over again.

While I am new to the ranks of being published, I’ve been on this ride many years. I have had days I was sure I could not remain on the track. But, oh my goodness, this is the most amazing-frightening-fun-crazy-educational-life-changing roller coaster I have ever ridden. I look forward to the final hill when I zoom down it full speed into my Savior’s arms and can thank Him for writing with me. Will you join me on the ‘So You Think Want to Be Published’ ride?

The Light Holding Her is Chandra Lynn Smith’s debut novel. Chandra, a 2015 Genesis winner, writes contemporary fiction filled with inspiration, intrigue, romance, and dogs. Chandra’s career as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer provides her with a variety of canine characters and challenging situations. Chandra and her husband are the proud parents of four sons and joyous grandparents to the most beautiful granddaughter in the world. They live on a small farm in South Central Pennsylvania with their youngest son and two dogs. Their house is often filled with all four sons, wives, fiancés, friends, and anywhere from four to eight “grand dogs.” You can find her at


Comments 0

  1. Chandra-I hate roller roasters but I love your analogy here. You truly catch the writing/publishing ride so masterfully. Your tools are great reminders of what is needed as one rides this coaster. My fav is ENJOY THE RIDE. That is my goal as I try to embark on this experience of writing in the later years of my life. As I sail along through the herky-jerky ride you describe, my prayer is that I discover that this journey is God-inspired. That would be my greatest accomplishment.

    Blessings on your debut….

  2. What an apt description Chandra of the ride writers take. Thank you for saying it so beautifully, it’s full of twists and turns, but exhilarating too. As long as He is our guide it’s a great ride.

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