Wednesday, October 1, 2014

An International Writer’s Journey

(From Janice Dick)

I’m at it again, trying to craft a story from my creative mind that will intrigue, inspire and entertain the reader. Why do I do it? There are certainly enough challenges to tempt me to quit.

One obstacle is the time it will take from my otherwise busy life to craft another work of fiction. Time to plan, to weigh, to judge, to consider, to ponder. And often non-writers do not understand this seemingly non-efficient phase. It’s much easier to clean the toilet or mow the grass. At least you know when you’re done.

Another hurdle to leap is the sale of the manuscript once it’s been developed, written, rewritten, edited, rewritten, edited (et cetera). The face of traditional publishing is unstable, to say the least, and “indie” is the new byword. But it’s a steep learning curve.

For those of us who write from outside the United States, there are unique challenges regarding the sale and delivery of our books beyond the borders of the U.S. I agree with my current publisher that hands-on, signed book deliveries are a good idea, but in reality, shipping my books within my country and beyond is cripplingly expensive. The cost of adding on the shipping pushes the book into the expensive category.

Add to this the hassle of ordering a supply of books to have on hand for local readings and launches. Since I’m rural (no house or street address) and the printer will not deliver to my post box, I must contact one of the three business establishments in the nearest hamlet to receive and sign for my books and then contact me when they arrive. But before the books can be delivered to my hamlet, I must pay duty on each box to keep Customs happy. I feel the profit margin slimming even as I type.
All that said, why do I (we) bother to continue with this aggravating exercise? I suppose it’s the same reason women continue to have babies. The gestation period and the delivery might be exhaustingly difficult, but the birth of a book, or a baby, is its own reward.

Happy writing, my international friends.


Janice L. Dick, an author from the Canadian prairies, writes historical and contemporary fiction, book reviews and inspirational articles. She is also an editor, teacher, and speaker. Her first two historical novels won first place in The Word Guild's Canadian Christian Writing Awards, and the third, short-listed for the same award. To learn more about Janice, please visit her website.


  1. Thank you for sharing your journey, Janice. It's never easy, but as you say, the birth of a book is it's own reward. I love the Canadian praries! Our daughter and family live in Calgary so I'm an honorary Canadian, living in Idaho, setting my books in Enland--that's why ICFW is perfect forr me.

    1. Yes, Donna, I love the idea that there are so many other Christian authors around the world and we can connect here.

  2. I hear you, Janice! Oh, how I hear you...

    1. I know it, Valerie. I've read some of your posts re indie and location, etc. Keep at it. You're a leader among us!