Well, hello there! Happy Monday to you!
And look! We’ve slipped over the halfway mark in our discussion of the book, On Being a Writer: 12 Simple Habits for a Writing Life that Lasts.
If you’re just joining in for the first time, welcome! You can catch an overview and links to posts from previous chapters right over here.
Click here to grab a copy of the book, if you haven’t done so already!
I’ve so enjoyed this discussion so far — thank you to all who have commented, reflected, interacted, and linked up! Such an encouragement to me and many others.
In today’s chapter, we’ve arrived at one of the trickiest, stickiest aspects of being a writer: promoting one’s own work.
Doesn’t the word “promote” itself just rub you the wrong way? (Or maybe that’s just me.)
Let’s kick off our discussion by listening to some more words of wisdom in this video from co-authors Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig.
In this chapter, Ann and Charity address the question:
Over a year ago, I reflected on this topic in a blog post called, “In which I question whether platform building can hold hands with Christianity.”
What do you think?
What does platform building look like for a believer?
These are a couple of questions I ask in the blog post I mentioned above.
Though I’m grateful that my thinking on this topic has deepened and hopefully matured somewhat since writing the post in early 2014, I still battle with the tension between Matthew 6:1 and Matthew 5:16.
Both verses were spoken by Jesus in his famous Sermon on the Mount.
In Matthew 6:1, Jesus says, “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.”
In contrast, in Matthew 5:16, we read, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
So — are we supposed to do our acts of righteousness and good deeds in secret, so as not to be seen by men, or are we supposed to do our good works in front of other people?
I think the key lies in the latter portion of 5:16 — “… so that they may … give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
And that’s really what this is all about, isn’t it:
Who is getting the glory?
I’ve been so encouraged by all of you who have participated in this discussion by leaving comments and linking up your own writing, and in so many, I can see that your heart’s desire is to bring God glory by using the gifts He has given you. Praise God.
I want to urge you (and me) to keep realigning our focus on a daily basis, to seek His glory as our primary goal in writing.
If that is our heart’s desire, I believe it brings Him glory when we use our gifts faithfully — and I believe He delights in using the gifts He’s given to bless others.
The problem is, that shift toward selfish gain, pride, and the desire for man’s approval, happens so fast and often so subtly. There’s a fine line, and our sinfully prone hearts veer toward it every hour. The question is whether we steer it back into the right lane with the help of the Holy Spirit, or whether we lift our hands in surrender and let the vehicle of our prideful hearts careen into dangerous territory.
How can we encourage one another in these murky waters of self-promotion? How can we better bring glory to God in the ways we promote our work?
Sneak preview to Wednesday:
We’ll be discussing Chapter 8 :: DISCOVER
This is a thoughtful and thought-provoking chapter.
Some questions to consider for Wednesday’s discussion and link-up:
Write an essay or blog post on the subtitle of this chapter: “When I write, I find myself.” What does that mean to you?
What have you learned about yourself as a result of writing?
Imagine someone you love is dying. What would you want them to know? Write it down.
If you could describe yourself through your writing, how would you do so?
What are your thoughts on the topic, PROMOTE?
Why do you think it’s so difficult for many people to promote their own work?
How do you feel about the tension between not wanting to “blow your own horn,” but also wanting people to read your work?
What strategies have you adopted when it comes to the practice of promotion?
How can we link arms and encourage other writers by promoting one another?
What does promotion look like for the Christian?
How do you reconcile the desire to write and the so-called “need” for a platform?
Share away in the comments and link-up below!
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