One of the most disconcerting realities of becoming a published author is that you MUST use social media to market your work. I didn’t believe this at first. Writers of old didn’t have to do this! I thought the people who whispered this must certainly be wrong. Or crazy. Then two years ago I attended my first writers’ conference.
Stunned and appalled, I listened to a prominent agent say, “No one will read your manuscript if you don’t have at least a blog and connection through some form of social media.”
What! I came home and began to blog. I’ve posted every week since, now twice a week.
But social media is a different beast. A writer needs a contemplative life to produce words that flow from deep thoughts. Social media and contemplation are not friends. Frenzy and constant interaction do not allow introspection.
The internet-driven world also brings us face to face with the conundrum of motive.
Why do I check the feed so often? Am I an attention grabber? Is this shameless self-promotion? Am I a people-pleaser? What are my motives? Am I sinning? A believer must sift through their motives.
My publisher is promoting a competition between two options for my novel’s front cover. I’ve been tweeting the dickens out of it. On Facebook and Google+, I’ve been publishing explanations of the voting process. When people vote and the numbers move, I hasten back to tweet and post again, trying to gain an accurate assessment of which cover works.
With all this crazed activity, there has been no time for contemplation. This cannot be the norm if I want to write. I’m pondering a strategy.
In the morning, if I turn on my computer and open any form of social media, my quiet hours are gobbled up. I must resist a quick peek at the novel-cover competition, a hurried check of my blog’s readership, and a sneaky look at my Facebook page’s likes and comments.
I write bible studies and biblical fiction. For me, it is imperative that I spend a large portion of my morning in God’s word. How can I write about him and his words if I’m not intimately connected and driven by them, if his thoughts have not permeated my mind with light and truth? God’s word is the fuel for the day, the powerhouse behind my words, and the soothing balm for my soul.
When I’m face to face with God, I can check my motives. I can ask: Has my social-media checking slipped from a work requirement to ego stroking, bruised-sense-of-self-worth assuaging, or people-pleaser medicating?
Jesus is the only solution to those needs. He keeps my ego in check. He repairs my heart wounds. He poured out his blood for me. I am his, and he is mine. His opinion is the only one that matters. Once I’ve met with him, gaining power from his words and the knowledge of him, I am healed and balanced. I gain self-control and godly wholeness in him.
No matter what your line of work, time with Jesus restores.
In the morning, I pause before him with bent head and bowed heart, combing through the Greek or Hebrew, analyzing the passage, digging through my deceptive and fragile heart, ascertaining my needs, and placing all before him. Then I wait and listen to his voice.
If I do this before I face the social media monster, all is well. If I don’t, it’s a back-and-forth battle all day. How about you? Are you managing the beast?
P hotos: Creation Swap.com Bottom photo: aaronburden,sweethourofprayer,creationswap.com