Authors try lots of different ways to stay in touch with their readers. In the “old days,” it was through postcards and printed newsletters. In recent years, it’s been blogs, social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Shelfari, ShoutLife, MySpace, etc.), and e-newsletters. But one thing I’ve learned over the 25+ years I’ve been a published novelist is that the absolute most important thing an author can do is to write her books.
I can’t speak for others, but one thing I don’t seem to have enough of is time. Always more to do than time (or maybe it’s energy … or both) to do it in. I’m particularly feeling the squeeze right now as I try to finish my next book.
Last week, after several days in a row of getting spammed by “porno girls” on Twitter (all of whom I blocked immediately, but taking the time to block each one steals valuable time away from what I want or need to do), I’d had enough. I removed my Twitter account. Then, feeling slightly euphoric in my newfound freedom, I also closed my accounts on Shelfari and ShoutLife. I think I felt 10% lighter.
Many years ago, God spoke to me through a verse in the Bible when I was feeling overwhelmed by life and by deadlines:
“Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work … is finished correctly.“
1st Chronicles 28:20 [The portion that is represented by the ellipsis says “related to the Temple of the LORD”.]
I look at this verse often. It’s taped to my computer display. God called me to write fiction for Him, but I’m the one who has to “do the work.”
And that’s true of all of us who belong to Christ, whatever God has called us to do (writing, parenting, earning a living with our hands, etc.). We don’t need to be afraid or discouraged. We can be strong and courageous. We just need to do the work. He won’t fail us or forsake us. And as we work, as we are about His business, he’ll see that the work finished correctly.
Isn’t that a wonderful promise?
PS I didn’t abandon the Internet completely. I’m still on Facebook and I’ll still be blogging here and on Writes of Passage. And if you would like to get my occasional e-newsletter, be sure to sign up here (and follow the directions; it’s a double opt-in subscription).