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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Is It Possible to Promote Without Promoting Self?

image Moonlight: Is there a “right” way for Christian writers to promote their writing?

 

It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help. ~ Anonymous

Don’t call attention to yourself; let others do that for you. Proverbs 27:2

As a Christian writer, I strive to simply focus on God, and most of the time I am successful in forgetting self and focusing on God when I write.

However, what comes after the writing? Some may be content with the writing only and have no wish to pursue publication. But most writers write to be read. It would be great if others could discover our writing without our help. “Far more impressive” as the quote says. Yet, few, if any writers, are discovered today by accident.

I was naive about blogging when I began eleven months ago, thinking people would find my blog on their own. I do not blog to make money. Why, then, do I blog? I began because writers are encouraged to build a platform, and a blog is one plank in the platform. Once I started writing the blog, however, I found I enjoyed it, and I saw it as a means to serve God.

The more I blog, the more I see it as serving God and less as a way to build a platform. I like the idea of sowing the seed, and I truly believe God will give the increase (and he has).

Yet at times, I remember I’m suppose to be working on my platform. And, at that point, I face a dilemma. Do I promote my blog? Do I ask people to read? Not only to read, but to retweet or to share on Facebook? Many of my friends do not understand the importance of sharing my posts. Should I tell them to share? If I even ask someone to read, I cringe inwardly.

Would people think I’m using them? Would I be trying to make people do something they didn’t want to do? Would I be asking people to share something they may not like?

Another thing, do other writers think I read and comment on their blog because I want them to read and comment on mine? And the answer to that is no. I read because I genuinely enjoy the blog I’m reading. If I comment, it’s because I truly mean it. However, if I read their blogs, I also want them to take the time to read mine.

And another dilemma is getting people to leave comments on the blog. Do people not comment because they disagree with what I’ve said? As my friends and family know, I enjoy debating. I don’t mind when people disagree. It’s a great way to clarify my ideas and to change them if needed. I also don’t mind critiques of what I write. I welcome them, in fact. So please feel free to comment, whether you agree or disagree.

My husband and I recently read this in Proverbs: A spoken reprimand is better than approval that’s never expressed. 27:5 It reminds me of the saying that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. So fire away! My thoughts are not set in stone. I hope and pray I will always be open to correction.

And the ultimate dilemma will occur if I get my book published. Even large publishing houses expect their authors to self promote.

I suppose that’s why I’m concerned now. I would like to have a fan base established before I publish a book. That way I won’t have to push my book (while cringing inwardly) alone but will have others to help promote it.

I wonder how other published writers have handled this. Is it possible to promote your book without appearing pushy—without self promoting?

I know the answer is yes, because I have seen it happen. And I also know the answer is to let go and to let God.

My preacher used an illustration about trapeze artists on Sunday. He said God is the catcher. Our job is to release the bar. But, we must stretch toward the catcher. We must have our arms outstretched, or else the catcher cannot do his job. The question is, how far do we stretch our arms?

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