I have always been impressed by all the talent within the Christian community, and yet equally frustrated over the unwillingness of publishers, in particular, to accept and use these talents for the Lord.
Although I've actually only sold one poem and published something like 4 (not counting my website where there was at one time over 100 different works), I have been writing fairly steadily since 1977.
To my chagrine I happened to start with science fiction. I've just about completed my first detective novel and what you've said about the balance between good writing and good CHRISTIAN writing is all too often true (Christian Literature and Living, January 2002).
Publishers are still afraid to put something out too near the main stream.
Writers make one of two mistakes here. They either cater to the publisher to sell the book and end up with a very nice Sunday School story, or they water the Christianity down so much that the whole purpose of writing it in the first place is lost.
Believe it or not the Bible tells us how to write.
We are to be
- Bold; "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ." Without starting here there is no reason to go further.
We are to get down into the real world. "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."
Although Jesus walked the streets of His world He did not become like those in the streets. Christian authors should take note that when we write we should do so to reach down into our world without becoming like them. This leads to
- We are to be an example. "Ye are the light of the world."
Our writing should not compromise the values taught by God in His Word, nor should it sound condescending. It shouldn't sound as if only some will make it and others will not. Through our characters we have the unique opportunity to display the ups and downs Christians go through.
We can show the world that Christianity is a growing relationship with God, it is a progress. Some seem closer than others, but none have made it.
In following these 3 simple steps we will be able to show a sermon rather than preach one.
To the publishers I say this, "You cannot serve two masters". Jesus said this talking to the people about their love of money. Now money is not bad in itself, but the love of it is. Publishers who are interested only in the "bottom line" haven't really seen the REAL bottom line ... how many people they are reaching for the kingdom of Christ.
When they can answer that question they will find there are some wonderful writers out here, unwilling to compromise, unashamed of the Gospel of Christ. And should they loose money and gain one person for the kingdom of God it would be worth much more than making a lot of money and leading no one to the Lord.