Yes, I admit it. I belong to an online Christian critique group for YA writers. That's because I'm a Christian who writes YA fiction. However, what I write generally doesn't fall under the category of Christian fiction. In case you're wondering, this can be a very odd situation sometimes. Such as when discussing markets in my online critique group.
Very few people in the group are looking to sell there work outside of the CBA (Christian Booksellers Association). In fact, I can only think of one other writer who isn't interested in selling to the CBA. It's not that I have anything against the CBA; I don't. I just feel my work would fit better in the ABA (American Booksellers Association).
In my online group, we share markets we come across. Frequently, I don't know what to share with the group since I'm looking in an entirely different direction. Sometimes I'll come across an agent or a publisher I think the other writers would be interested in, but most of the time I'm pretty sure no one would be interested since it's not part of the CBA. I look at the markets other group members mention, but my writing falls outside of the guidelines since I'm not writing for the CBA.
I spent the other day feeling like a minority because of this.
It's hard sometimes to do what you feel is right. It would be so easy for me to switch over and write for CBA markets, but then I wouldn't be writing my style. It would be someone else's, and that more than anything would keep me from ever finding a home for my work. I'm learning that being a writer who is Christian is very different than being a Christian writer. Markets that would take my work probably won't accept the work of a Christian writer (someone who writes Christian fiction) any more than the CBA markets would accept my work.
The publishing world is a complex, sometimes confusing place, and this is just another example of why. One important thing to remember that I have to remind myself of occasionally, is that there's an agent/publisher out there who will love my manuscript. Just as soon as I finish this current round of revisions, I'll be looking for that agent again.
Remember: Never give up. Keep learning and revise accordingly. Most importantly, keep writing. Even if it feels like you'll never find a home for your story, keep on keeping on. If your story is meant to be published, you'll find the right place eventually. It may take a hundred submissions or so, but someone will love it as much as you do.