Monday, November 16, 2009
Ted Dekker's Rant and Other Things That Make Me Laugh
I'm afraid I wasn't able to jump on the bandwagon and give Ted Dekker a piece of my mind for the rude and condescending things he said about Steeple Hill Guidelines. The fact of the matter is, I can ill afford to give away even the smallest piece of my mind. The other fact of the matter is, I saw the rant (as it is being referred to) as nothing more than a desperate bid to get attention.
And, really, I've been condescended to before.
What I write isn't literary enough for some, isn't hot enough for others. It isn't real enough. Isn't Christian enough. Is too Christian. In the years I've been writing for Steeple Hill, I've heard it all.
When I first got published, I discovered two things. First, a LOT of people seem to want to be writers. Second, most people who want to be writers (but who have never actually finished writing a book) think that writing is easy. Especially if what is being written is romance.
I can't tell you how many times I heard, "Oh, you got published with Steeple Hill? Maybe I should try that."
As if by simply trying they would easily be able to accomplish what I had.
The truth of the matter is, writing a book (any book) is hard work. Just getting that first draft of that first book done takes persistence and determination. Then, of course, comes the editing and rewriting and looking at it with fresh eyes and rewriting again and editing again. And that is before an editor ever lays eyes on it.
Work is exactly what writing a book is.
And torture as the manuscript is finally ready and submitted and the waiting begins.
Even after the first book is sold and the next and the next, there is always that feeling of anxiety as another story begins, as another completed manuscript lands on the editor's desk. Plus, there is more work. There are revisions, art fact sheets, copy edits and author alterations. To make writing a career, time must be devoted to it, hours must be spent, passion must be balanced with the knowledge that the book belongs to many more hands and heads than simply the author's.
Which brings me back to why I did not respond to Ted Dekker's bizarre diatribe.
I don't have time to defend what doesn't need to be defended. The books I write are clean and wholesome and fully entertaining. I write because I truly believe it is what I'm meant to do. I write because without writing, I'm not sure who I would be.
What's to defend in that?
So, Ted Dekker's weird rant amused rather than alarmed me. Just as any conversation about the depth and breadth and impact of what I write does. Only God can determine what lives will be touched by my work. The Ted Dekker's of the world can't. Neither can the Shirlee McCoys. Thinking anything else is simply a waste of time and energy.
PS.... Alamo Rangers. I didn't even know they existed, but they do. Cool uniforms, too.