This post was inspired by On Being a Writer by Ann Kroeker & Charity Singleton Craig and was written for an online discussion group about the book over at Kate Motaung’s place.
Chapter 6: PROMOTE— Promoting What You Write
This is a tricky one. I agree that promoting my writing for the sake of myself is very different than promotion for the sake of getting what God wants me to share out there for others’ benefit.
As Kate brought up, I’ve thought about the apparent duality presented in Matthew 6:1 (don’t do “your acts of righteousness” in front of others) and Matthew 5:16 (“let your light shine before others… that they may… glorify your Father in heaven.” But what if promoting your writing has nothing to do with flaunting your “acts of righteousness” at all? What if it’s merely about about 1 Peter 4:10?
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
As God’s kids, we each have been given certain natural strengths and talents, spiritual gifts and passions. When all of those line up to create words on paper or screen that God has urged you&me to share in one forum or another… you&I need to just obey Him and let the chips fall where they may. Yes, pray about it. Yes, seek wisdom and counsel from wise mentors and friends. Yes, get input from fellow writers and folks who know about the topic you are writing on. And yes, check your pride meter and ask yourself what of this is for your gain and what is for God’s glory. And then… if your heart won’t let go and you still hear God saying to share those words… then you&I need to follow His lead. Whether He says “These words are for your blog” or “These ones are to be handwritten in a card and mailed to your friend” or “This piece needs to be sent to (in)courage (or on social media or shared with your Bible study group or wherever)” or “This needs to be made into a book”… then our only job is to follow Him step by step. (Note: I love the idea of fellow writers helping to promote each other’s work— that is beautiful on several levels to me: the beauty of community; the confirmation/affirmation that those words are meant to be shared; and the helpfulness in not having to feel so much like you’re tooting your own horn.)
Now, keep in mind: I am not a published anything. As of now, I’m “just” a writer who shares stuff from time to time on her pretty darn new blog… but lately I have been feeling a few nudges and hearing a few Holy Spirit whispers regarding other places God might want to send the words He has given me. To date, He hasn’t called me to anything major or public: just an email here, a FB share there… but I must admit: a few of those instances have been pretty darn scary for me. In the end, I’ve done what I truly felt God wanted me to do and I begged Him to make me as invisible as possible in the process— I really do just want to encourage others and share my own blunders and insights in hopes that they can grow closer to God as a result…
But of course that little devil called Pride sneaks in from time to time and my “reputation” or the amount of reads or comments I get becomes a factor. I hate that it is so, but it is. And I know it’s my own fear and insecurity that fuels those moments of hoping for affirmation from anyone other than God.
In the end, all I know to do is to seriously pray about each piece I’ve written and really ask God if He wants to use it in anyone else’s life or not: “Is this just for You and me, Lord? Or for someone else too?” And if it is for someone else, I need to ask “What part of this brings glory to me and which of it is simply an honest discussion of something in my life that has the potential to help or inspire someone else toward God?”
In the end, I cannot control how anyone else will perceive me or my writing. All I can do is bathe it in prayer, stay as closely in tune with the Author of Life as I can, use the wisdom He has promised me… and then do what I honestly feel led to do.
Lord, please continue to help me as I wrestle through this. Thank You for the encouragement that I’m not alone in my struggles here. Please encourage and bless all the other writers in this discussion group and help us to listen to You and to follow Your lead in all areas of our lives— including this one.
What about you?
Why do you think it’s so difficult for many people to promote their own work? How can we link arms and encourage other writers by promoting one another?
Please feel free to share your comments or your own journey in the comment section below.