Dear Self ...

If you’ve ever seen a toddler dashing madly through a mall, shrieking ‘NOOOO!!!!’ as his frantic mother chases him while turning various shades of red, then you may have glimpsed a mother having a minor identity crisis. That screaming monster is obvious evidence of her insufficiency as a parent, after all … 

It's amazing how much of my identity, worth and success gets tied up in my child’s behavior...

…But when on earth did my book become my baby?! Since when did my identity, worth and success attach themselves to a few pages?! Suddenly every sale or lack of sale has become a measure of my value as an author.

I carefully handle the books, pour hours of thought into their presentation, and then share them with the world. Suddenly every glance and thoughtful ‘hmm’ communicates approval or rejection. Every time the book is paged through and laid back down unsold, I wonder what I did wrong.

Something’s obviously out of sync with reality here.

Truth Pep Talk: (what does ‘pep’ mean, anyway?)

I am not my book. 

People may lay down the book – they may not even like it. That’s okay. There are some books I don’t like too.  It doesn’t mean I don’t like the author.  Not everyone will want to read my book. That’s okay. 

I am not my sales.

Sales are a gauge, they’re not the gauge. Also, poetry has a smaller audience. Low sales are the norm for most first time authors in any genre. Expect it. It’s normal.

I am not my marketing plan.

            Time to get over myself. The size of my marketing plan doesn’t matter as much as its quality. Word of mouth is a huge part of marketing. Focus on communicating a clear, sincere message. People prefer authenticity to glitz. 

I am me.
           
            I am not the life of most parties. I ponder. I contemplate, speculate and mull... silently much of the time. That’s okay. I am not the energetic grinner that bounces from moment to moment. That’s okay. It’s more than okay – God made me this way on purpose. Sure, it’s changeable with God’s help, but this is the base he gave me to work with. I need to work with it. Comparing my style, performance, writing, and marketing to other more outgoing, intensely social authors is just not fair. 

I am me. On purpose.  … For a reason. That’s good.


Okay. I can do this. Walk in faith. Walk beyond emotion.

"...God is greater than our feelings..."  
1 John 3:20   

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9 comments:

Amy Sullivan said...

Ok, you are so real. I love that. Now imagine this. You have a draft of your wonderful book and it isn't even a great draft, but you know it has the potential to be! That's me. Sitting at the screen judging my worth based on this half finished piece of what I hope to be really good.

You have followed your dream through to the end. You have that little something wonderful in your hands that YOU created. That in itself is AMAZING!

Someone wrote me this (I wish I could credit who, but I don't remember!). I will judge my success by how well I listen, serve, and obey God.

I Ioved those words so much that I wrote them down and stuck the paper in front of me to read every time I write because you know, that's what it boils down to anyway.

Joanne Sher said...

Absolutely needed this reminder. A fabulous post.

From The Heart Online said...

@Amy - Thank you for those word, 'you are so real' - sweet balm to my soul. Ever think you're real and honest, yet somehow feel like a phony for no identifiable reason? Yeah.

Those are great words your friend (or whoever) wrote you - "I will judge my success by how well I listen, serve and obey God" I'm putting that on my wall too! :)

@Joanne - thank you. I know I'll come back and reread this in a few days. ... so easy to forget :)

Stephanie said...

Hi Kim! What a real and genuine post! Just evidence that God is using your gift of writing to work in you, first and foremost. And if it means anything, I admire your heart and I enjoy your writing. Thank you.

From The Heart Online said...

Thanks, Stephanie! (I posted at your place too...)

MTJ said...

Hi Kim,

I don't have an answer to "What does 'pep' mean?" But I am glad that you aren't defined by your book, its sales, or your marketing plan; you are so much more than any of those things could hope to characterize.

"I am me." -- That's a wonderful person, loved by God and family.

Blessings and peace.

MTJ

Carl Shelton said...

Kim, I have felt the same way many times until a friend shared with me after describing my feelings. He said, “Your part is to hear and obey God, what He does with it after you have done your part is not up to you.” This happened in my life while I was helping start a church. I was responsible for all media production. Nine years before this God started preparing me. I went to night school for Audio / Video Production, then interned for a church of about nine thousand, was hired part time by that church as the Production Assistant, then one of the speaking pastors asked that I help him start a new church. I’ll never forget the amazing ride I had through those years and now I had the chance to build my own teams and really invest in others the way I had been invested into. When I left my part-time job (I was also working full-time) to start my own teams (sound, lighting, video) I was leaving a paid position for a volunteer position yet I knew God’s hand was upon it. He was directing me in dramatic ways and confirming steps I was taking, often through others! Though our situations are different, there are many similarities and often I felt like you describe here. What my friend said caused me to search God even more to make sure I was following His will and once I was sure and obeyed these words reminded me to rest in God’s mercy and grace. Hope that helps, I am encouraged to read your story, thank you. I posted this morning on my blog much about the same before reading yours.

From The Heart Online said...

MTJ - thank you for your encouraging words!

Carl - You're so right - if we know we're walking in God's will, what else matters? Sometimes I bask in the joy and courage of that, and sometimes I don't. I trust that, over time, the 'don'ts' will become fewer, and my faith will grow stronger with each experience. It already is...

I'm so encouraged that you can identify with me. What a blessing to encourage each other! :)
I'll stop by and read your post.

Siobhan said...

I like you the way you are. Maybe coz we're a bit similar regardless of age and geographical distance... I think you're Kwaai (cool), rest are boring man!! Blah to them hehe