Why I Write…

My buddy Lisa Walker England tagged me in this blogging game. I like it because, as Simon Sinek might say, it asks us to consider WHY.

Why do I write?

Like most writers, I write because the stories won’t stay inside. They must come out.

But I also write because I have this vain idea that perhaps I can move people’s hearts and minds with my stories. I know the stories move me. I have to believe they’ll move others also. So I share them.

book wonder imagination

Illustration © rolffimages • Fotolia

How do I write?

I have been re-thinking my writing schedule. As I mentioned when we did the Day in the Life series, I save my writing for the end of the day. Unfortunately, this often means that client work pushes it off the end of the schedule, and I wind up not writing at all.

As I gear up for the editing of Book Two, whatever it winds up being called, I’m considering taking an hour at the beginning of the day for my own writing, and then pushing paying work past dinnertime.

Book Two is the first one I’ve written largely in Scrivener, and I have to say, I mostly love it. I say mostly because Scrivener is missing some of the automation features of Word. But it’s organization system is so much better for novel writing, the trade-off is worth it.

I also used Scrivener for my Mars stories. I have one Scrivener project, and then each story is in a folder within that project. That way all the character sketches and notes are all in one place. Very handy.

What am I working on?

I recently finished the first draft of Book Two in the Prophet’s Chronicle series. Not sure yet what I’m going to call it, but I’m leaning toward Lena’s Privilege. There’s a double meaning in that. I’ve been letting the draft sit this month, but starting Monday I’ll be cranking on edits.

In the meantime, I wrote a novelette for Travis Perry’s Medieval Mars anthology. I hope he likes it, even though it’s about twice as long as I’d intended. I love this story so much I’ve already lined up two sequels and maybe a prequel.

How does my writing differ from others in its genre?

I think the main thing that sets my writing apart is the intellectual nature of most of my characters and the problems they encounter. Sometimes I fear that makes my characters a little unrelatable—I had an agent reject a manuscript on that basis once—but I like to think my characters might inspire people to think about things they haven’t considered before.

Another thing that sets my work apart and gets me in trouble with conservative evangelicals is my emphasis on women in ministry. Again, earned a rejection from at least one agent that I remember.

I don’t care. We’re told to write what we know. I come from a tradition that’s been ordaining women as pastors since before I was born. My grandma was an elder. She served on the committee that hired her congregation’s first female pastor. That’s what I know.

How about you? Why do you write?


About Kristen Stieffel

Kristen Stieffel is a writer and freelance editor specializing in speculative fiction. She's a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, Christian Editor Connection, and American Christian Fiction Writers.

2 comments on “Why I Write…

  1. Didn’t realize you have such a background. You seem to young to have worked 20 years for a local business journal. Anyway, I do understand how and why you want others to be moved by your writing as you are. It always feels good to know one has moved another even if its only to end of a block. Distance isn’t so important as the act and result. Without having the same reasons for why, when I write is the same as yours, it is just the same. I am trying to get myself on a more self disciplined schedule.I only have myself to care for now. It shouldn’t be so painful. Yet I find myself still working on this crazy unbalanced schedule. So here’s to finding hope in achieving an improved lifestyle of success as I hope for you.
    I guess we will eventually get there huh?
    Blessings Yisraela

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