Count the Cost Before You Write Your Christian Book
Many aspiring Christian writers don’t look before they leap. They get an idea for a book and rush into it.
This approach ignores what Jesus taught. In Luke 14:28, he said, “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?”
Writing a book is like building a tower, as I have said many times before. There is planning, foundation-laying and building. It’s good to sit down and count the cost, and I hope to help you do that now.
Writing is a Craft
Many people think that since they can write an email that they can write a book.
That’s only partially true.
Writing a book is a craft that takes time to learn. Anyone can learn, but it takes practice. In an email you’re generally expressing an idea or two. In a book, you’ll like be expressing hundreds of ideas in various ways. It takes time and effort to build those skills.
There are two ways to learn this craft. One is by reading books about the writing process. I endorse that. However, the best way to learn is by writing.
Learn your craft by practicing it. Some of what you’ll write will be terrible. But we all learn though out mistakes. Proficiency come faster when you write persistently.
Writing Takes Commitment
I’ve been mentoring writers for decades. Most think that writing is an event. They imagine they can sit down and dash off a book in just a few days or weeks.
I am an advocate of fast writing. I like to train the aspiring writers I mentor to write 1,667 words per day, a task that will take about an hour or two when they prepare properly. As this rate, they can write a 50,000 word book in a month.
It takes commitment to do that. If you want blessing as a writer, you need to recognize at the beginning that it takes tenacity.
You Will Have to Overcome Self-Doubt
Most writers start writing their book with enthusiasm and they finish them with that emotion.
However, at some place in the middle many writers get lost. Self-doubt creeps in. Writers begin to second guess what they are doing.
It’s not only doubt about the viability of their writing project, but also about their own ability to complete the task.
How can a Christian writer overcome this self-doubt? Through faith. Pray when doubt floods your soul. Jesus said, “Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
You Will Face Rejection
A Christian writer must have a sense of calling from God because there is rejection at every turn.
- Family members might not take you seriously.
- If you seek an agent or traditional publisher, you may be rebuffed.
- If you self-publish, you may get some negative reviews on Amazon or elsewhere.
How will you handle such rejection?
First, don’t take rejection personally. No one is saying that you are a bad person. They are saying that your writing does not meet their needs or expectations.
Second, see a negative response as a learning experience. What seems like rejection may be an opportunity to improve your writing skills. You can rewrite and improve your work.
Third, remember that fear of rejection is a motivational and spiritual trap. Trust the Lord and trust your relationship with him. As Proverbs 3:26 says, “The Lord is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.”
Selling Your Book Will Take More Time than Writing It
Most writers think everyone will be interested in reading their book. That’s seldom true.
Worse, many Christian authors expect a miracle when it comes to sales. They don’t want to put in any effort and yet they expect results.
You need to count the cost of book promotion before you start writing. Promoting your book is a never-ending process.
You have a choice. You can either spend a lot of money buying ads, something I don’t recommend, or you can invest your time to get the word out about your book.
But don’t be under an illusion that your book will sell spontaneously. It takes effort to let potential readers know it’s available.
Does all this sound like too much for you? I hope not. If God has called you to write, you can write a successful Christian book.
But be sure God is in your writing project. It’s fun to dream about being an author, but count the cost before you begin.