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Writing When There are so Many Books

By Rondi Olson

Most people are encouraging when I tell them I am a writer, and that my debut novel is about to be released. Often they congratulate me, and some have assured me they will look for my book when it comes out.

A few others have been less generous. “People need to stop writing books,” one lady told me. “There are already too many out there. No one could ever read them all.”

I smiled, and didn’t think much of her extreme comment at the time, but one night her words hit me hard. I was struggling with a particularly difficult transition in my follow-up novel, and it occurred to me in some ways my detractor was right. Forbes estimates one million new books are published in the United States alone each year. One million! What difference could my little story possibly make? It would certainly be easier to not do anything. Let others write. They’re already doing it.

For a few weeks I avoided my manuscript, questioning why I was investing so much time and energy into something that probably wouldn’t have much of an impact. Instead, I focused on reading, and enjoyed digging into my to-be-read pile.

It didn’t take many books for me to realize my story was different. And I know, that is what all authors want to believe, but honestly, as Christian writers, we have a world-view to share that is very different from much of what is available. God has called us to write for a reason. People are hungry for hope. They are hungry for honesty, faithfulness, and purity, and it is our privilege to give it to them.

It has been said that being a writer means one can’t stop writing, and I couldn’t stop, either. I’m back at my manuscript, but with a renewed sense of purpose. It doesn’t matter how many books are being published every year, there is a place for mine. And yours.

Rondi Bauer Olson is a reader, writer, and animal wrangler from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Her debut novel for young adults, ALL THINGS NOW LIVING, was a finalist in the 2012 Genesis Contest and is scheduled for release May 2017. Learn more at www.7thdaughter.com.

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