Do you want to write for the Christian Market? Today’s post is an interview with Tracy Crump. Tracy has published over 100 articles and essays for popular books like CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL and GUIDEPOSTS. She has a special call on her life to help aspiring writers find their path to publishing. Tracy’s blog, THE WRITE LIFE is rich with information for writers who want to reach the Christian Market.
You can locate her writing webinars and upcoming workshops at http://www.tracycrump.com. This interview reveals how Tracy uses life experiences to write herself into a place of peace. As she helps herself, her writing blesses others too.
- What meandering path led you to the writing life?
It was the same path that led Paul to become an evangelist. God gave me a shove, and here I am. I felt God leading me to write about a family situation and began submitting articles to Christian magazines. The more I wrote, the more ideas God gave me. As I say, you can’t lead a horse unless it’s walking. So I keep writing, and God keeps leading.
- When emotions are dull, how do you encourage yourself to keep writing and moving forward?
When I write, I feel that I’m just where I need to be, doing just what God wants me to do. This energizes me. The clouds come when I can’t find the time to write. That became the problem about five years ago when my mom and then my dad became very ill, requiring much of my time. God was gracious and allowed me to keep my writers newsletter going and to submit short pieces here and there. But most of my writing came to a halt.
The darkest day came when I had to dissolve a two-year relationship with my agent. She asked me to update my proposal, and I couldn’t find time to sit down and do it. If I couldn’t even update the proposal, I sure couldn’t write a book. I felt like a failure. I’d had an agent. Now I didn’t. Then I realized that was just pride talking. It wasn’t an agent who got me where I was. It wasn’t even my “wonderful” writing. It was God. So now I write when I can, and I feel at peace, trusting in God’s timing.
- What Bible Verse do you live by?
Since high school, my life verse has been Ecclesiastes 3:1: To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. When I was submitting and publishing frequently, that was my season for writing. Taking care of my parents has been just another season, one I cherish no matter how frustrating it is at times. Even now, God has been opening interesting doors with a story I wrote for the Chicken Soup book on Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The Alzheimer’s Association has set up book signings where I was able to tell people about a treatable condition that is often mistaken for Alzheimer’s. God fused my two seasons of writing and caring for my mom into an opportunity to educate others and at the same time, share the gospel. I couldn’t have orchestrated that if I’d tried.
- Why is helping others find their path to the writing life important to you?
Many people have suffered difficult times in their lives and want to use what they’ve learned to help others. Writing is one way to do that, but most don’t know where to begin. I enjoy helping writers learn more about writing and encouraging them to go ahead and submit. Words sitting in a desk drawer or a computer file don’t help anyone.
- What song do you listen to when clouds begin to gather?
It would be the old Irish hymn “Be Thou My Vision.”
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
For information on writing and publishing for the Christian Market, visit Tracy at http://www.tracycrump.com