Sydney AveyDynamic Women — Changing Times
So You’ve Written a Book, Part 2
So you’ve written a book and are contemplating the next step. Where to start? Query the agents who have access to big publishers? Seek a small publisher? Self’ publish? Whichever way you go, the “must dos” will fall on your head like fat raindrops.
The joy you felt in creating your work? The strength you built during the critique and edit process? All that confidence puddles on the floor when it comes time to market your book. A virtual storm of advice sends you running for shelter. Often, these offers of help are designed to make you throw in the towel and pay someone to do it for you, or teach you DIY skills you don’t have time to master.
In Part 1 of this blog, I talked about marshaling a prayer team that helped me through the crazy-making coordination and technical challenges of getting my first novel, The Sheep Walker’s Daughter, republished.
But I say to you…
In my morning reading of the gospels, I noticed a rhythm to Jesus’ speech. He talks about conventional wisdom and then says, “but I say to you…”. He goes on to turn accepted truisms upside down. In these past few weeks, God has had plenty to say to me. I covered the first two, Cease your striving, and Bigger effort doesn’t always mean better results, in Part 1. Here are the last three.
- Learn to wait. Creativity consultant Dan Blank reminds artists to spend the majority of their time improving their craft and helping people connect with the soul of their work. Trying to master every promotion strategy is time misspent, he says. I love that.
The marriage of craft and connection is like a courtship and commitment. When it comes time to decide what to do and what not to do, ask these questions: Is it right? Does it honor God? Is it economically viable?
- Stop pushing and let some things go. It is easy to say it is all in God’s hands. His timing is perfect. It is hard to see a publication date slip and not want to do something about it. When my efforts to coordinate deadlines fell apart, I had to stop worrying and let it go. Stressing over stuff that is beyond your control won’t change a thing. Chaos is part of the process. Choose not to dance on the end of disruption’s string.
- Acknowledge how far you have come and count God faithful. I had a moment when I was solving one technical problem after another and I felt God’s encouraging words, “See? You couldn’t have done this four years ago.” He brought to my mind his faithfulness. Remember that as you push on, feeling like you are not making progress, it is good to look back. Acknowledge how far you’ve come, and count God faithful. When we don’t press on, we lose that opportunity.
Remember why you’ve written a book
Let’s be honest. Most authors can’t brag about bestseller status. So why put immense effort into an endeavor that offers so little reward? Blogger Deborah Brasket wrote a beautiful piece on why she blogs that I think applies. She said,
“We create what we do with the explicit purpose of evoking responses from some largely unknown Other. It is a very human thing. The desire to touch and to be touched. To share what we love, what evokes responses in us, with the hope of evoking similar responses from them.”
Don’t carry a burden you were not meant to bear.
© Sydney Avey