For years people wondered if printed books would soon become relics, replaced in the digital age. But they’re still here and doing well, notes a group of Christian authors, and the digital age seems to offer more opportunities for publishing.
“There’s something about holding a book in your hands as you read versus an online source,” Christian author Carolyn Tomlin told The Baptist Paper. “Throughout history, books have played a vital role in civilization.”
Books have lasting value compared to magazines and newspapers, she said, particularly because a book can more easily be placed on a library shelf and available for the future.
“Sometimes the oral history can be changed,” Tomlin noted. “If we write it, the next generation will have something in writing. It’s more authentic that way. The person writing it is usually an eyewitness account, and that will be worth more than stories that have been told and told and told.
Tomlin, who lives in Jackson, Tennessee, stressed the importance of writing family and community history and keeping it in a safe place for future generations.
“We have a Tennessee room in our library, and it’s a wonderful source of information about this area that I live in – the families that lived here, the industry, the businesses, everything,” she said. declared. “If someone hadn’t written it, we wouldn’t have this because they were eyewitnesses to what happened.”
Denise George, another Christian author, told The Baptist Paper that a book “can do a lot for a reader.”
“It can encourage, teach, give resources for help,” she explained. “A person can offer helpful books to others who need guidance and encouragement.
“We need books as a society. I can’t imagine the books ever disappearing. They may change form – from print to digital – but I believe we will always have books.
Author Cheryl Wray said reading books is a sign of an intelligent society.
“For the past decade, we’ve been worried about books going out of fashion because there’s so much technology,” Wray told The Baptist Paper, “but one thing the pandemic has done is that it has increased the amount of reading there. People are reading more.
Books are great for entertainment, education and inspiration, she noted, “especially Christian books because they communicate our history and our faith.”
Find a community
For those writing books or contemplating the task, writing communities are a valuable support network, Wray said.
“A lot of times writing can be a really lonely thing. You’re sitting at your computer or writing in your notebook. You’re on your own. You might not even have people in your family who really understand this desire that you have to write,” Wray said, adding that a community helps “because you find other people who have a similar passion.”
Tomlin, who with George founded Boot Camp for Christian Writers, said now was the time to focus on writing as some may still be avoiding crowds due to the impact of COVID-19.
“It’s been said, ‘Everyone has a story,'” Tomlin noted. “Imagine the stories that could come from a community writing group. Could you interview people from the older generation, perhaps those who served their country during the war, or research the first settlers or early businesses and industries in your community? There is no end to the possibilities.
George, who runs Christian Writers for Life, said the online group of more than 3,000 offers seminars, publishing opportunities, questions answered and encouragement.
“We have a great mix of writers – published and unpublished, self-published and traditionally published, seasoned and new, outgoing and introverted – who have all made their way to Christian Writers for Life and benefit from the resources and sense of community we provide,” George said. “The group is growing rapidly and we welcome any Christian writers who wish to join.”
To someone considering writing a book, George offers advice: “Find a community of writers. Take lessons and learn to write well. Study the publishing market and the people who read books – the reading public. Learn how to match reader needs to the type of books a publisher wants to publish.
Wray, who leads a Southern Christian Writers’ Conference each June and smaller workshops throughout the year, urged writers to get started.
“A lot of times people get so caught up in the next steps they want to take — find an agent, get published — but the writing is the most important part. Write. Just write your story, then you can figure out where to go from there.
Tomlin started writing at 48 and wishes he had started earlier.
“Writing is something that will continue as long as I live,” Tomlin said. “There is no retirement. It gives me so much pleasure and so much joy.
For more information about the Southern Christian Writers Conference, email [email protected]