Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Discomfort Zone - Is Self-Promotion A Christian Concept?

I'm participating in a Blog Chain this month, with a topic called 'The Discomfort Zone.'

If you look in the sidebar you'll find many other posts in this blog chain. I think you'll find many challenging and informative posts about this Discomfort Zone writers enter into as they work toward publication.

For me, one of the most difficult things I'm having to do during this new chapter of my life (The pursuit of writing novels, I mean) is self-promotion.

Not that I don't like me. I think I'm pretty good! That is, until I look at Him. Now, He's a mark I'll never hit. While Ephesians 5:1 says that we are to be imitators of Christ, I am too often finding mud on my white robes. I sometimes look a whole lot like the world...

Yet, in the publishing industry, one of the most important things a new author has to learn is that they are expected to market their book, or books, and take a very active role in marketing... ahem... themselves.

This means, putting your face on book flyers, getting to know thousands of people, going to book signings, getting in front of people, blogging, gettings onto Twitter and Facebook, Shoutlife and MySpace, and so many other venues online that scream for your attention as you scream for the attention of others...

...and all the time, in the back of your mind, you wonder if this is what God meant when He wanted you to write?

Did He want us to sell ourselves to the public?

And that's the question I struggle with, the Discomfort I face. You see, just like so many of you, I really want people to like me, and I want people to think that the work I do is fantastic. That it amounts to something. That it's a 'good read', a page turner. Something that spoke to you. I could eat that up like Lasagna.

The truth of the matter is that God called all of us to point the way to Him. If I remember that, as His child, I'm a new creation and the work I do, when it's the absolute best I can do through HIS strength and HIS leading, well, it's not bad stuff.

And if I can be an imitator of Christ, if I can be more Christlike through HIS power and HIS grace, then when people look at me, while it looks like I'm busy promoting myself, instead, I'll do my best to promote... Him.