Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Wishes

Jody Hedlund and I are on the same page today. 'Tis the season of giving and sharing... what do you want to receive? And what do you want to give?

For writers, as Jody said,
... most of us want our words to make an impact, to hit readers in the heart and leave an imprint that changes the way they view life.
So that's a gift all around, isn't it? It would be an amazing gift to us if someone thought that reading our book was a gift to them.

I started to type that "I don't know that my first novel is life changing..." but I think perhaps I shouldn't undercut myself that way. Books don't need to be high-brow literary fiction to have an impact. They don't need to be inspirational fiction or epic in any way. There doesn't need to be a message under the story, because sometimes great escapism is enough. They don't even need to present a new idea -- some of the most moving passages I've ever read simply encapsulate and bring into sharper focus things that I already knew and believed, but hadn't fully articulated.

I believe that books change lives. I'm proud to have written one. I hope that next year I'll get a little closer to people actually reading it, and maybe deciding that they really like it.

What are you wishing for this holiday season?


  1. I agree that our books don't have to have some huge message to impact lives. I write inspirational fiction, but my books don't have sermons in them! It's more a matter of the characters struggling with insecurities and finding the strength to overcome them.

    Their faith is a natural part of their lives and I don't hide that nor do I pound it over the reader's head. I hope that my books reflect my and my target audience's values and that we walk away stronger.

    Have a very Merry Christmas!!

  2. Agreed, agreed, agreed. With both of you (and Jill's comment, too).

    Merry Christmas, C!

  3. I'm wishing the kids would recover from the cough that's been plaguing them for months now. Also sleep. I'm wishing for some sleep. That's just this morning, though.

    Other than that I'm wishing for more discipline in my writing for the next year, more publication credits, and fewer real-life dramas.

    Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays, good lady. Health and acceptances all round. :)

  4. I agree Carrie--sometimes escapism is enough. My books aren't too deep, but at least they are fun. :) Merry Christmas Carrie! I hope it's lovely.

  5. Many years ago, when I felt I was destined to be a video game designer, I used to hope that my game's story would impact people like your post explains. Now days, I think I realized that it was the story telling all along that I really wanted to do, not the game making. So, what I want: I want to write a believable story that impacts my reader in such a way that they say it touched, inspired, encouraged or otherwise entertained them.

    P.S. Happy Holidays to you and thank you for all your thought provoking blog posts!

  6. A netbook....and an agent! WHOO HOO! (I probably won't get either till 2010..but I can wait...maybe)

    Happy Holidays!!!

  7. I'm hoping for a camera--AND I'm wishing an agent on my A-list will fall in love with my manuscript once I start submitting it in 2010. :) Hopes for my novel/writing: I want teens to enjoy reading it. I want them to laugh at the funny parts and remember the book fondly. I want them to be touched by the poignant moments. I'm not saying, "I'm all that." I'm just saying that's what I'm wishing.

  8. Yes -- I think the literature of any kind can touch lives. It doesn't have to be "highbrow" or "literary" to do so, and I actually think that popular fiction has a greater capacity to have an impact because it is by its nature more accessible to a greater range and number of people.

    Recently, and out of the blue, I received an email from someone I knew twenty years ago. I had nearly forgotten who she was, but she stumbled across my blog (which is about hiking and camping as a solo female). She wrote that she is not a hardcore hiker, but that my blog has inspired her to start hiking with her dog on her own and not wait for people to accompany her. She thanked me for the inspiration, since now she's getting out onto the trail and loving it.

    For the holidays, I wish that we all can get confirmation that we've made an impact on at least one life. It's gratifying. Happy Holidays to all!