So. There are some things that go along with writing a book.
You know besides all the fame and truck loads of money. Heh.
Four months out and I still get weekly questions like, “How’s the book doing so far?” “How many copies have you sold?” “Has it been reviewed in a journal?” “How do you feel about it releasing the same time as five other blogger’s books?” And then suggestions “Maybe you should try to push it here… or Guest post there…”
These are not my favorite.
Because with every question comes a comparison of my book (which sometimes feels a lot like a comparison of me) lined up next to another book (which sometimes feels a lot like a comparison to another author). Although I know it’s my insecurities and not your questions.
And then there are reviews. Words people write about what you’ve written. It can be a lot of noise.
Most days, I waive off the questions and I forget to read the reviews. I handle questions like “So, is your book a success? ” with answers like “I wrote it out of obedience to God.” Because it’s true.
With daily Mercy House tasks, writing obligations, overseeing Fair Trade Friday, and managing the massive amounts of laundry my family produces, I don’t have time to worry about it. I’ve said from the beginning, this book will do what it’s supposed to do (glorify God, I hope). I don’t have to sell my soul to sell books.
But then there are days I give into the pressure to compare book sales and mostly myself, to others.
These moments are also not my favorite.
Recently, I got my first 2- star review on Amazon. Sales on Amazon are a good general gauge for how your book is doing. It was sandwiched between two very kind 5-star reviews, but guess which one was loudest?
It said something to the effect of “The 1st part of this book was very interesting and good to read. Then it turned into at least to me an infomercial on the needs of 3rd world countries…”
I shared the review on my Facebook page, perhaps to satisfy my own need for approval, but I also found encouragement.
But it was words from a missionary friend living in Costa Rica that hit the mark:
“She unwittingly gave you one of the best reviews ever. Lord, please let me live a two star life that turns into an infomercial for the needs of others on this earth so I can live a five star life with you forever. #twostars“
And it has become my prayer too.
If I’m too busy listening to who the world says I am, I might miss the great I AM speaking.
Because if my goal in this life is to be known, how can I make Him known?
It’s hard to look at Him when we’re busy looking at ourselves.
For me, success is easily wrapped up in writing and there are plenty of meters to let me know how I’m doing, I mean, how my books are doing. But the same truth applies in every career and situation. If we are comparing our parenting, our homes, our kids, our jobs to other people, we always end up feeling like we don’t measure up.
How to live a 2-star life in a 5-star world:
1. Keep our eyes on Him- we can only focus on one thing at a time
2. Don’t compare yourself to others-it skews our perception of truth
3. Live upside down-embrace the small
I’m learning that in this upside Kingdom where small is big and least is more-
Two stars is more than I thought.