Monday, February 15, 2016

Who's leading you?



Pretend for a moment that your new manuscript (or book) is a human. Imagine it as a person like yourself, in need of all the things you need to survive and succeed.
Pause now and contemplate this. Visualize it. Get a picture in your head. Think about your work as a force separate to you—almost like a child. It has come through you, but is not you.
Got the picture? If you haven't, contemplate the idea for a few minutes until you get that picture.
Go it?
Now, answer these questions:
Who is its closest relationship with?
Who does it spent the most time with?
Who does it seek guidance from?
Who is its biggest influence?
Who will stand up for it?
Fight for it?
Love it?
Who do you trust to help it succeed?
What does its success look like to you?
Whose hands have you put it in?
Now:
Did you answer ‘Jesus’? To all of the questions? To any of the questions?
I recently had to ask myself these questions in hindsight, because I have decided to give up trying to sell my book.
"GIVE UP SELLING?" you cry. "Why would you do that? Aren't you an author, and an Indie one at that?"
"Yes," I say. "But I could pitch my work to every publishing house in the world. I could get an agent. I could read the books, pay for the marketing, and count the 'likes'. But at the end of the day, this work I do isn’t for profit or glory. It’s for Jesus. I’ve stopped trying to do the things He says He will do for me. His direction is what matters."
What matters to you?
For me, I've always known my writing is the ministry the Lord had given me, but I never understood what that meant until recently.
It meant I had to stop trying so hard and give it to Jesus.
He is the orchestrator of my future. Of the future of my writing. He is my greatest investor. He has the greatest interest in seeing my work succeed—and, like our natural children (our sons and daughters), success is not necessarily the goals we dreamed of, but the success the Lord has planned.
Who are we? Are we servants as we are called to be? Or are we capitalists, producing a product purely with the expectation of a financial dividend? Is our measure of success judged by the awards on the shelf, the money in the bank, by how many people know our name? Is it our glory we are seeking? Or His? Does our work bring us closer the the Lord? or closer to worldly success?
How do we view our success? is it in line with a scriptural picture of success?
These are all questions I have contemplated and prayed about. I have gained an enduring peace from the Lord’s answers. I don't work to produce books. I work to serve the Lord. The work I do for Him brings ME closer to Him, and I give the work back to Him, so He can use it to work in others. My work isn't about me and them—the readers, the sellers, the agents, the world. It's about me and Him—Jesus.
These revelations have given me a boost of energy and a clear direction. I know the Lord wants me to work at writing. He wants me to work at selling as well, but to sell His way. Sometimes the work is hard, but the greatest blessing is to be given the chance to work for Him. I trust Him to give me the inspiration, and to give me the avenues for selling.

There is one more amazement to add to this revelation. I don't know where my work is heading, but I do know whose hands it’s in—and that is all I need to know. 

Rose, who holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree, was born in North Queensland, Australia. Her childhood experiences growing up in a small beach community would later provide inspiration for her first novel, Back to Resolution. Beyond Resolution and A New Resolution are the second and third books in the Resolution series.
Back to Resolution won the Bookseller’s Choice award at the 2012 CALEB Awards, while A New Resolution won the 2013 CALEB Prize for Fiction. She has also released The Greenfield Legacy, a collaborative novel, written in conjunction with three other outstanding Australian authors, and has recently released the standalone novel, Ehvah After.
Her novels are inspired by the love of her coastal home and desire to produce exciting and contemporary stories of faith for women. Rose resides in Mackay, North Queensland with her husband and son.


Photo from www.lightstock.com 

18 comments:

  1. Great post Rose. I loved reading how God had led you on this interesting journey. I sometimes feel a fish out of water since I don't always follow the standard trends as a Christian writer. Like you I have realised that it is His project, His baby, not mine. And so while I need to work hard, I also need to balance that with allowing Him to do what's needed. Not easy sometimes since our thoughts are often not God thoughts and His ways are often different to mine. Selling His way sounds right Rose. Doing everything His way is what it's all about isn't it? So glad you have a fresh boost of energy and clear insight through what He's been teaching you. Thank you for making us go back to base again through your blog. Every blessing on your writing journey and to God be the glory.

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    1. To God be the glory. That's what it's all about. This way we are drawn closer to Him.

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  2. Wow, thanks Rose, for the encouraging reminder. It brings me a feeling of peace just reading it, because over the years, I've been in that place you've described. Trying to jump through hoops, searching restlessly for promotional ideas, afraid I'd miss something important. Good for you, deciding to get clear about what 'success' looks like, and not being pulled into the popular definition thrown around by the world.

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    1. And, it's so easy to get drawn into that popular definition - even in Christian circles. The drive is to sell, sell, sell. Achieve, achieve, achieve. Get those likes. Get those accolades.
      Imagine instead if we were to invest into, pray, pray, pray. Trust, trust, trust. Get that faith working. Seek the Lord's accolade.
      What a great thing that would be. Even if we never sold one copy of our work. How much closer would our relationship with the Lord be. :-) That's what I wanted in the first place. That's the prize. :-)

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  3. Hi Rose. Thanks for your post. I like how you say ' I know the Lord wants me to work at writing. He wants me to work at selling as well, but to sell His way.' I think we should live our whole lives as given to the Lord, resting in Him - yet that isn't the same as sitting around waiting for God to hand us everything on a platter. He gives us good works to do " For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." Ephesian 2:10. So I like that focus - it's not that we don't promote but we do it His way, trusting His wisdom and power, His purpose, for that work.

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    1. That's right, Jeanette. We have work to do, and stepping out in faith is important too. Sitting around and waiting for it to fall into the lap is not a faith driven place either. I guess, for me, the Lord's been looking at my heart. And I've asked Him to do that. I've been wanting to please Him, but working my tail off at getting my books read isn't pleasing Him. Trusting Him is. I'm still working at getting those books read, but I'm doing it the way He wants me to.
      That's why I hope above all things, this blog posts encourages readers to seek the Lord themselves. We are all different.

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  4. Thank you Rose :-)
    I really enjoyed reading this post. I always enjoy reading the posts when I get the time, but this one really resonated with me. I could say 'ditto' to everything that Anusha said in her reply, as she has voiced my very own thoughts. Also as Jenny said and quoted "I like how you say ' I know the Lord wants me to work at writing. He wants me to work at selling as well, but to sell His way.'" That really sums things up for me. If we are not doing what we do for the glory and honour of Our Lord Jesus, then we cannot expect to succeed or even feel happiness and satisfaction. It is His plan that always needs to be followed. Often though, I must confess I get a bit confused about His plan and mine. Often I forget that He loves me more than anyone and wants me to be a success - His version of success, not mine. Thank you Rose, for this timely reminder of what is most important. May our Heavenly Father guide us all to do what He knows is right and true in the best way - His Way. Thank you dear Rose for abundant encouragement.
    Love and blessings,
    Jo'Anne

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    1. Confusion between His plan and mine is something I can completely relate to, Jo'Anne. It's so easy to sway off track, because, for me, you want to do everything you can to get your work 'out there'. I had the best intentions, but it wasn't His way. I had to get back WHO I was working for, not WHAT I was working for. Hard - but great. :-)

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  5. Timely word, Rose. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Not an easy share - but hopefully a helpful one. :-) xo

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  6. It takes away the grind when you know you're not struggling on alone. That beautiful sense of peace and satisfaction comes from exactly what you have experienced, Rose. When we commit our lives wholly to Him,Jesus is right with us, guiding and encouraging and lifting the spirits when they sink. Yes disappointments come, but handing them over to Him removes the sting. And on we go.

    Hugs, dear girl. Keep on keeping on.

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    1. Thank you, Rita. I'll keep plugging away with the Lord by my side- that's the Aussie spirit. :-)

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  7. Thanks for sharing, Rose. Finding peace in knowing we're working for God is the difference - and the challenge

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    1. I hear you, Carolyn. The challenge part is sometimes the hardest - but the rewards are there too.

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  8. I saw this quote this morning, and it seems relevant:

    "Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant" - Robert Louis Stevenson

    Our job is to plant, water and nurture the seeds God has given us, and leave the details of the harvest up to Him.

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    1. Perfectly relevant. Every time I think of the harvest, I think of all those men and women in the past that the Lord has used to plant seeds. A lot of them didn't live to see the harvest, but it sure did happen.
      Thank you, Iola, for being a partner with me in the planting. xo

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  9. Lovely post Rose. Like the perspective it gives.

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    1. Thank you, Dale. The right perspective is getting me on track. :-)

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