Saturday, February 04, 2006

An Itch that must be Scratched

I belong to a lot of Yahoo e-mail groups. It's sad really and I'm not sure what I did with my time when I wasn't compulsively checking e-mail and reading discussions about all sorts of topics. All that to say I felt the need to ponder one of the discussions that came up this week.


Ha-ha, yes, I know I'm a writer but lately very little of my time has been spent actually writing. I've been searching the Internet, writing up informational letters, compiling stuff for my writers group - and obsessively checking my e-mail - but no real writing.

I do try and market. I really do. I even went to my local Borders in the beginning of the year to talk to them about a booksigning. They seemed interested, gave them all my information and...nothing. I send out letters - not mass spam or anything - but specifically targeted stuff and...nothing. I work on my website and...nothing.

I really don't feel like anything I do makes one bit of difference. In fact, the only reason that I'm even worried about my book sales is because those numbers will follow me around like a scruffy, smelly homeless dog. And frankly, I just want to keep writing books. I'm just not a numbers girl. When I got into this publishing thing, I said that if my books affect just one girl out there then it will have all been worth it. Well, I've heard from dozens upon dozens of girls whose lives have been changed by God through Beka's story.

I mean wow! That's God at work. It has nothing to do with me. And it has all been worth it.

But I feel this....pressure. Pressure about the bottom line. Pressure about earning out. Pressure that I should be out there marketing more, traveling around to bookstores, letting everyone know about the books. Yet, I hate doing that stuff. Do you know how hard it was to actually even talk to Borders about a booksigning? And now I have to go follow-up? Ugh. I'd rather have my teeth drilled.

Some things I love to do. I love doing interviews - but hate trying to set them up for myself. I love speaking - but hate trying to let groups know I'm available.

I wish I could just write.

And that led me this weekend to a strange epiphany. I really just want to write. I'm a mom. With three very little kids. I'm a wife. I have a home to take care of. And a church to serve at. That leaves me, what, an hour, maybe two, left to actually write in. I can only do so much. I won't ignore an open door for marketing, but I feel like I need to shake this pressure off of me. To relax and trust God with the results. I'd have to hire a full-time staffer to do all that I "think" I should do. And since that's in the realm of fantasy, I have to be content with what I realistically can do.

I was digging through my files today and ran across a book I started almost two years ago. And while I'm waiting on a word from my agent about what will happen next, I'm going to tackle this book again. I feel that drive again, that sense of purpose. It's what I feel I'm really supposed to be doing.

It's a challenging novel - different from anything I've ever done. And that puts me at the mercy of God to show up and write with me. God, I'll type it if you'll write it. And that's a good place to be.

The rest of it? Well, I feel like the last twelve months of my life have come down to two simple words from the Lord: Trust Me. So that's what I choose to do.

Here's to writing!