After wrestling with Him about it for a few weeks, I posted a deeply personal blog on my own site that talked about my struggle from an early age with self-image and confidence issues.
My struggle, which I think many of us have to varying degrees, has a ripple effect over to my writing.
Am I good enough?
Does my writing really stink and everyone is just lying to me so I don't feel bad?
Will people like my book?
What if I don't sell enough? Does that make me a failure?
OHMAGOODNESS what if people write horrible reviews and HATE it?
And in another super honest confession... part of me feared greatly that people would "buy" my book, or "pretend" to like it only because I'd just gone through a terrible ordeal with my daughter's health that I dealt with very publicly, that it'd be for pity only.
When we write a book, it's different than other "business" deals. Our writing is very personal and comes from a place deep inside us. Or at least, it is that way for me. So putting it out there for rejection or acceptance is a scary thing.
But BOTTOM LINE:
IT'S NOT ABOUT US!!
YES, some people will hate our books and trash them on Goodreads.
YES, some people will hate our books and trash them on blogs.
YES, our sales might totally flop and make us look completely inept.
All those things are totally possible (and honestly, probable.)
But God has a purpose for ALL things. And for me, my #1 purpose for my LIFE is to glorify Jesus. Everything else, my marriage, my writing, my children, my job, all falls under that. I want everything I do to be with the motive of glorifying the God who made me.
And that includes my writing.
I need to stop stressing about sales and start focusing on story. God gave me stories to tell, and EFFECTIVE marketing will happen when I focus not on "how many books can I sell" but on "How can I get my book into the hands of those God wants it to be in."
See that focus shift?
It's an important one.
One I feel like I failed MISERABLY with in my first go-around at this whole publishing thing.
I'm a numbers girl. It's how my mind works. But maybe I can start thinking about "number of lives touched" vs. "number of books sold" hmm?
And then there is that darn Amazon ranking I was addicted to for the first six months... I kinda just wish they'd take it away so I would stop obsessing over it!
Bottom line: Our writing isn't about us. To have a truly fulfilling publishing experience, I highly suggest you turn your eyes toward Jesus. Follow HIM, not the just trends. Follow HIM, not just the numbers.
Discussion: Am I the only one that struggles with self-confidence issues over books?? If you've got a grip on it, share some of your secrets!!
*************************************************Krista is a follower of Jesus, a wife, a mother, and author of Sandwich, With a Side of Romance. She blogs about finding JOY in the journey of LIFE at http://www.kristaphillips.com. She is represented by the fab agent, Rachelle Gardner.