Friday, January 18, 2013

Writing: "Suffering The Slings And Arrows..."

We've all heard it said that writers have to have thick skins. They have to be prepared for rejections by agents, by editors, by publishers, by reviewers, and by the reading public.

When I practiced medicine, I had over a hundred papers published in professional journals. Sounds impressive, doesn't it? But in addition to the ones accepted, there were many others that were rejected. I liked to joke that I'd been turned down more times than a Holiday Inn bedspread. The truth of the matter is that those rejections hurt.

Now I've had four novels published, and the fifth, Stress Test, will be out in April. When we put our words out there for others to read, we make ourselves vulnerable. I'm sure that, despite some great advance reviews, there will be people who don't like my latest book. But that's okay. If the only audience I reach is the Christian community, I'll have missed the opportunity to make non-Christians at least consider some of the themes I try to weave (subtly) into my fiction.

Of course, sometimes something nice comes along, as well, like the email I just received that Code Blue, my debut novel, was voted one of the top 10 "finds" in e-books for Kindle. Here's the link to let you see it and the other nine. Thanks to Tattie Magard for sending that along. 

Being vulnerable to "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" isn't confined to writers, by the way. In your daily walk, whatever it is, your actions and words will be judged. Is it worth the risk to make them echo your Christian beliefs? What do you think?

(photo via

PS--If you haven't read my post on the ACFW Blog about "Days of Silence," I hope you'll do so now. I think there's a message there for all of us.


Ramona Richards said...

Hi, Richard - Congrats on the Code Blue "find." That's awesome.

As to the other part of the message, yeah, it's worth it. I had a friend recently tell me that I'm the only reason he doesn't hate all Christians. Another was a self-proclaimed heathen, who slowly came to Christ over the course of 20 years. One reason, she told me later, was that I never gave up on her, never preached, and always showed my faith without preaching.

People watch. And more than you think are reading you.

Richard Mabry said...

For those of you who don't know her, Ramona is an editor at Abingdon Press, and edited my most recent novel from Abingdon.

Ramona, thanks for the compliment and for your comment.

S. Kim Henson said...


Richard Mabry said...

Thanks, Kim. (I presume you mean the news about Code Blue). That came as a total surprise. Delighted that so many people liked that particular e-book.