Secular or Christian Market?

A recent email with another writer drew out something I’d been pondering for a long time – CBA or secular?

It started out with, “which books should I read?” I felt guilty for gravitating toward the secular books. I picked up Mary Higgins Clark and Martha Grimes. But…  I should be reading Christian books, right?? I did pick up a few CBA books, some of which I truly loved. However, it just doesn’t often seem to fit me.

After that, I started thinking, which category should I write for? I read both. I appreciate the merits of both. But where should I cast my nets? God made writers to be fishers of men in our own way. He gives us truth, fills our head with words, and then expects us to reach out to a listening audience with His words and pull them toward himself. So – should I be throwing my net toward the faithful who need encouragement, or those who don’t even give Christianity a thought?

I’ve always wondered what kind of writer I was to be. I know I will not follow every CBA rule, but I know I won’t satisfy the average secular reader who expects to read a story about people who live the way they do. I write true stories about real people, and quite often those do not turn out with a satisfying sigh of happiness at the end. Yes, those “happy endings” are great reads, but that’s not me. Writing about real people means writing about real life, including the people who don’t become saved, the good guys who don’t end up together, and everything else that comes with this broken world. And really, isn’t that more beneficial to our readers?

I still can’t pinpoint which genre I’ll write for, but I do know this. I’m gonna write truth, portray real stories, and give every single word I write to the Lord. May he always direct every word I write, so that they are not my words, but His.

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