Monday, November 6, 2017

Five Obstacles to Successful Writing

Today we'd like to welcome John Peters, a new member of American Christian Fiction Writers and first-time contributor to International Christian Fiction Writers. Welcome, John!

By John S Peters

Self-doubt, writers block, typing skills, grammar, and finding my voice.

These are the major obstacles that I needed to have God’s help to find my way past. The result is that God has repositioned me for success. Worship Leader, Singer/Song writer, Author/Publisher, Pastor/Evangelist.

 Growing up in White Rock BC, (a small town on the west coast of Canada, pictured above) it seemed that the words which were spoken most into my young ears were, ‘you can’t,’ and ’you’ll never’. Does that sort of thing sound familiar to anyone out there? I’m sure you can imagine the impact these words had on my sense of self – worth. In the course of my walk with God, I have found that I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me. Now I am hearing ‘You can, and you will.’

It took me almost fifteen years of false starts to find my voice, but the word of God encouraged me to persevere and to press on toward the mark. Today I have published three non-fiction titles, three fiction, and one autobiography which could fit either of the above. Love what you write, and write what you love. That is what the Holy Spirit has impressed upon me as a rule of thumb for whatever I write.

The next obstacle would for me, be the dreaded writers block, perhaps known more affectionately as ‘some timers’. We get excited about writing something, but when we are ready to start typing, the page remains embarrassingly blank. To remedy this ailment, the Lord has encouraged me just to type anything that comes to mind, and go from there. It has been said that every picture tells a story. As a young man, I realized that I could see an image, and would automatically begin to work it into a story. A hawk sitting on a fence post, a worn gate hanging by a single hinge. This is something that I have begun to incorporate into my writing.

At the age of sixteen, I could type sixty words per minute. By the time I began to take an interest in writing, I was down to a sad eight to ten words. Then someone told me about voice recognition software, and my world got suddenly brighter! I typed only ten words per minute, but with this new software, I could talk eighty to one hundred words every minute. Woohoo!

Some folk save the most important points for the closing statement, or argument if you prefer, and I guess that for today at least, I fall into this category. Grammar. With a grade twelve vocabulary it is understandable that my grammar could use a lot of help. More software to the rescue! Grammarly and White Smoke take care of everything from spellcheck to plagiarism, and whatever might lie in-between.

Rather than jumping straight into novel writing, I chose to begin with short stories, and have developed to the point of writing Novelettes. In becoming a member of ACFW, I hope to quickly develop into a full-fledged novelist, which has been my goal since I discovered the world of books.

About John S Peters

As a semi-retired Pastor, I finally have time to polish and perfect various inter-related hobbies including pastel painting, digital photography, song-writing, and writing both fiction and non-fiction. I'm self-published on CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing. My fictional Short stories include The Champion, The Raven, and a novella titled ‘Thomas Vale, out of the shadows’.

Find John online:



  1. Welcome, John. Ian from Down Under here. It's rare to find an author who is an overnight sensation. For a variety of reasons, some you mention, it just takes time to craft a quality story.

    Keep writing, keep praying and keep believing.

    1. Thanks Ian ... I believe you are absolutely right. A great story is a good story made better. Blessings from beautiful BC

  2. Thanks for sharing your story, John. Keep writing and dreaming!

  3. Hi John. Shirley from S. Africa here. Good to read of your persistence and determination with your writing. Keep it up!

    1. Thank you Shirley, I believe that success is often the fruit of perseverance ...