The Best Advice EVER for a Writer

Though writing about a different conference on the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference blog seems odd, I deemed it valuable. We just finished the Asheville Christian Writers Conference, and during that conference, we did something we normally don’t do—we did a faculty panel.

During this panel, we discussed the proper time to begin the search for an agent and the most important thing to begin with social media. But I think the most crucial information we gleaned came from Lynette Eason

If you don’t know the wonderful Lynette Eason, pay attention because as a Christian writer, Lynette has hit over one million books sold with her current publisher, and that doesn’t include the Love Inspired books, which roll over that number a couple of times more. She is a tremendous writer. The question we asked Lynette was, how does an author hit one million plus books sold?

She blushed, paused, and then gave this simple bit of advice. “Just keep writing.” Three words that may not seem like much, but they are oh, so valuable. Just keep writing.

The more I thought about Lynette’s answer, the more I realized the problem many writers hit. They write one book. Perhaps that book doesn’t sell, so they keep pushing it year after year. In essence, writers get stuck on “the one,” and they forget the importance of giving it the old school try and moving past.

Don’t misunderstand. Maybe you only have one book in you…but the truth is—maybe that’s just what YOU think. Not what God has planned.

Writing is a process—a craft that must be learned and honed. Rarely does one wake up one morning to be a best-selling author. It takes work. It takes doing it over and over again.

It’s important to do your best. That is what God requires of you—to be obedient and write and to do your best work, but our best work needs honing. If we write only one and stop there, beating a dead horse, we do not learn nor excel to our best.

I have found over the years that sometimes that “one book” I felt God called me to write was really just for me. Years ago, my first effort was a book entitled, What Will Happen If I Die?—Questions Asked and Lived by Parents of Disabled Children.

The book got attention, but the truth was, it wasn’t ready for publication, and as I continued to work on it, I realized it was really meant for me. It was those things I, as a parent of a disabled child, had to ask and then come to grips with the answer. Perhaps someday I will rewrite the book, but the point is, had I chosen never to move past and, as Lynette said, “keep writing,” I would have never attained even one published work, much less eleven.

Write the book. Work hard to make it your best, but don’t stall on the one. Move to the next, and the next, and the next…until finally, the right one hits. When that happens, you will be surprised how, if you keep writing your best, you will keep publishing. 

I have sat across the table from conferees who pitch me the same book year after year. When I ask, have you written anything else? Their answer is no. “This is the book God told me to write.” I never underestimate God’s ability to inspire us. I do, however, question our interpretations. God may inspire us to write a particular book, but it may be—just like in my case, a book meant only for me.

Years ago, I gained some critical advice from the amazing Alton Gansky. He said, 

“If you want to write for God, then it’s important to understand that your words may not be meant to be on bookstore shelves. They may only be meant for the person sitting next to you. And when you can grasp that, then God can truly work through you as a writer.”

Wow, and wow! I realize many of you will argue with me over this thought, but all I am asking you to do is talk to God about your work. If you’ve been sitting on the same work for several years, are you listening fully to the words given to you by the Father or are you taking His inspiration and placing your desires into it? Could this first work only be the beginning, and you aren’t looking past that?

Lynette is right. Just keep writing—one after the other, after the other. Not only will you learn to be a fantastic writer, but the work will pay off in the long run. You may not sell one million books, but you can become the writer God has called you to be by continually moving. Continually writing.

Wise words from two multi-talented, multi-published authors in this industry, Lynette Eason and Alton Gansky—take heed. There is nothing wrong with working on a piece to make it good, but it is vitally important that every writer stuck on “the one” look seriously at the long-term result. Are you willing to sit on one piece, or will you learn all you can from it and then apply that knowledge to the next and the next? Don’t let your dream of being a writer become the stumbling block to being a successful writer. You are called as a writer by God. He has placed within you the passion and desire. Practice. Learn. Write. Then do it again and again. 


Cindy K. Sproles is an author, speaker, and conference teacher. Having served for a number of years as a managing editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and Ironstream Media, Cindy now works as a mentor, coach, and freelance editor. She is the co-founder of Writing Right Author Mentoring Services with Lori Marett and she is the director of the Asheville Christian Writers Conference. Cindy is also the co-founder of Christian Devotions Ministries and WWW.CHRISTIANDEVOTIONS.US, as well as WWW.INSPIREAFIRE.COM. Her devotions are in newspapers and magazines nationwide, and her novels have become award-winning best-selling works. She is a popular speaker at conferences and a natural encourager. Cindy is a mountain girl, born and raised in the Appalachian mountains, where she and her husband still reside. She has raised four sons and now resorts to raising chickens where the pecking order is easier to manage. You can visit Cindy at WWW.CINDYSPROLES.COM or


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