Been a while since I contributed to my blog. And I apologize.
“What’s the deal?” you ask. “Why the long silence?”
My feeble answer is, “I’ve been busy.”
Finish your book?
Time for fun?
Don’t be a jerk.
Cause you ain’t done!
The volume of things to learn to be a successful author continues to overwhelm me every day. My mind knew that writing the book is the first milestone. My intellect researched and read and discovered there are many more waypoints to pass on my author’s journey. I felt like I passed or saw coming little signs on my author’s roadside like the old Burma Shave signs.
Some the placards I’ve passed or see coming:
- My website needed to be redone, as yours truly accidently erased it. My thanks to J.F. Penn’s YouTube videos on Author Website Building, Setting up the Author Pro Theme, and Setting Up the Email List on ConvertKit.
- An enhanced audiobook made as a reader magnet. Thank you, Derek Doepker.
- Incorporating the email subscriber system (ConvertKit). Again, thank you, J.F. Penn.
- My landing page made so people could download the sample audiobook chapter.
- An ad campaign created (BookBaby Ad Campaign).
- Courses to understand podcasting. (Again, thanks to Derek Doepker)
- Videos and courses that explain a myriad of technical things like the aforementioned Audiobook, email websites, Reader Magnet download site (BookFunnel), DNS settings, GoDaddy, WordPress, YoastSEO optimization.
- A survey to gleam information from folks who would download the enhanced audiobook and would offer me feedback. (SurveyMonkey)
- Several author pages to put up on Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, BookBaby Bookshop, BookSirens, Goodreads, Bookbub… ad nauseam.
- Creating 3D mockups of my book.
Add in, I work full time. My wife and hero smiles when I get home and asks, “Off to the second job?”
“Yep,” as I plod upstairs.
I hear my inner child calling out to me.
No tact, this kid of mine
The little kid inside me (let’s call him “Willie”) holds my creative heart in his hands and asks awkward questions:
- What if nobody likes it?
- Are we gonna fail?
- Is this like the other times you tried stuff?
- What if God wants you to do something else?
- What if God’s plan is for you to “suffer for your art?”
- We ever gonna just write fun stuff again?
- When do we get snacks?
What a little cynic this little guy is! I (like most) struggle with doubt daily. Well, except for the snacks part.
Truth time. I find myself “doubting in darkness what I was told in the light.”
All these tasks bury my creative side. Each chore covers me a little deeper in a dark world of techie monsters and website drudgery. Not only is it information overload, but also duty strain (an endless treadmill of little jobs that entombs you in the mundane).
So here I am in the dark dirt. I struggle to breath. Is it worth it?
God often whispers. This time, he used a 2×4…whack!
I go to Northrock Church in San Antonio, Texas. I love my church. We went to the first services some 12 and a half years ago in a grammar school cafetorium with about twenty-five folks. So, I watched these people grow in size and maturity. Some of them, the pastor’s sons, literally.
The service format uses a series approach. That is, several weeks in a row examining a theme. This one, called “Legends,” examined the heroic actions of various biblical figures. This week’s hero was Joseph.
The bullet points of this message were:
- Don’t be afraid to dream.
- When God gives you a dream, don’t expect immediate gratification.
- Don’t ever doubt in the dark what God told you in the light.
- Dreams don’t die in the dark. Dreams develop in dark.
- Your delayed dream doesn’t mean God has dropped you.
- Stay faithful even if your dream is deferred.
Me, rubbing my forehead, “Thanks God.”
“So, you went home and floated above the ground as you effortlessly completed all your tasks and wrote the rest of the trilogy?” you ask.
Yours truly, woke up this morning and struggled writing this blog. I will confess to tears and prayers going into its crafting. I told God I’m still scared. I cried out for wisdom and direction.
I asked, “Please. I’m tired of failing. Is this really what you want me to do?”
“But you have this spot-on message and all those great bullet points,” you say. “You should be sitting pretty and pounding out best sellers and posting wildly popular blog posts.”
I would add three bullet points to ones in the message above:
- God’s definition of success is not the same as the world’s definition.
- Expect struggle. Expect doubt. Expect to be overwhelmed.
- While you experience struggle and doubt, know that God is with you in the darkness.
So, I came to peace with the first point. God may allow me to fail. He’s concerned with my character, not my comfort. If I succeed too easily, I won’t value the lesson. His point might not settle deep into my heart. I may miss the lesson all together!
So, I’ve struggled mightily so far. This writing process of mine has been going for over ten years now. I’ve learned to be a better writer BECAUSE I struggle. Because I doubt. And if I’m not overwhelmed by the dream, then my vision wasn’t divinely inspired. If I could succeed completely on my own, how can God show his love and concern for my growth? What opportunity does He have to develop my character?
So…I find myself in the dark. I find myself struggling. I have no idea how I will get all of this done. But…I am not alone. That has to be enough for now.
“Hey God…did you bring snacks?”