Are You Busy or Productive?
As servants for God, sometimes as Christian writers we fall prey to the world’s “No Holds Barred” mentality.
Never give up!
We write, and write – and write, with little to show for it.
I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase before, “Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.”
In John Maxwell’s book, No Limits, he says, “Some of us were raised believing that we can accomplish anything, as long as we try hard enough. But that’s not true.”
Ponder this thought; if you were looking for a new job, you’d start to send out resumes, right? What if after the hundredth resume you still had no phone calls? Would you keep pumping out resumes with the “No Holds Barred”, “Never give up”, mentality, or would you reevaluate your resume? You might have to tweak your resume a bit so you can start getting a response.
The same is true as we write. It makes little sense to keep ourselves busy writing, with little results. And no, I’m not talking about gaining followers as the answer. Instead, we should want quality reaction to what we write for God.
This article is about enhancing your writing career, not gaining tons of followers. If you’ve read some of my posts before, you’d know I am not a fan of simply gaining followers. You can buy a bunch of fake followers if having followers is your goal. I write to evoke change in people. If I gain followers that’s great. If God can change one person’s heart through my writing – that’s better!
So, do you want to enhance your writing career?
Here are 3 tips:
1. Stop Chasing Two Rabbits.
Last year I spent time working with a life coach. She helped me understand my writing had to be focused or else it was like I was chasing two rabbits. One point she made has stuck with me. She said to me, “If you have no target, then you’ll reach no one”. There’s an old proverb that says, “Chase two rabbits and you’ll catch neither.”
I am a strong willed, get in your face, stop making excuses, type of theology writer. I knew this before I started working with a life coach, but she helped me clarify this through a series of exercises we did together. Whenever I deviated from who I am as writer, I saw little success. When I tried to be the nice, sweet, hurt no feelings writer, nothing came out of it.
Some people respond to nice soft-toned writers and there’s a place for them. And some people respond to a writer like myself. When I stick to my true nature as a Christian writer, I am no longer chasing two rabbits, and therefore, I am focused.
You need to stay true to who you are as a writer. Don’t conform. Be the writer God created you to be.
2. Step Away From The Computer.
This one has two parts.
First, yes, social media is a great way to reach many people at once, but we have GOT to get a better handle on how we utilize social media.
For example, as aspiring writers, we make the mistake of assuming our social media friends will support us and we pound the news feed with our blogs and books.
Let’s define social media friends:
“My kid just hit the game winning home run!”
“Our Christmas family photo.”
“My new low-carb dinner.”
Okay, so you get the point. But now you’re a writer and you’ve suddenly turned these people into your customers. And then you actually get offended if they don’t support you.
Now don’t get me wrong, you might get some of your social media friends to support you, but it’s highly unlikely unless you’ve transitioned into a person with significant influence.
The second part to this is putting all your cards into social media blog/author groups.
I am a part of some of these groups and I enjoy reading great material from other aspiring Christian authors. But the truth is, we are all in these groups to promote our own work.
Then there are some social media blog/author groups that require you to read and share. That’s fine. However, if my own social media friends aren’t going to support my work, they’re even less likely to support another unknown Christian writer.
We have to use common sense.
Again, these social media blog/author groups are great, but seriously, you cannot put all your eggs into one basket. You have to get out into your community and build relationships if you expect to get quality readers.
What type of Christian writer are you? Call your local library to host a workshop. Send out photo cards to your local churches offering your service to speak. Teach your book to your Life Group. Start a book club with your book as a featured book. Put together your own speaking events. There are many ways to reach more people.
The bottom line is, you cannot build influence on the internet alone. You have to be willing to leave the computer for a while and build relationships in person. Forget the futile internet followers. You will gain serious, quality readers, when people see you in person and they realize you are a genuine follower of Jesus Christ.
3. Stay True to God’s Word.
Speaking from experience, whenever I write on my blog and I have my Bible, a commentary, another resource, and praying at the same time, I see a great reaction to what I’ve written. However, we all wing it from time-to-time. And whenever I “wing it”, I see no response. It’s as if God is saying, “You’re not going to use my name to glorify yourself.”
Don’t take one verse and fly off the deep end with it. Take time to understand God’s Word in its proper context. God wants His children to understand His Word. He wants us all to know Him on a deeper level. God is using you to reach people for His kingdom. It is an honor to serve God. Take His Word seriously and you’ll see a better reaction to your writing.
And again, my idea of a great reaction might be different than what you’re thinking. Me getting a ton of “likes” does not qualify to me as a great response to what I’ve written. I appreciate the “likes”, but I can tell when my writing has truly resonated with someone by their sincere comment. If I get one sincere comment I am satisfied.
You should be too.
And a bonus tip:
Don’t give up. No, not by the world’s standards, but through God’s standard. Our family saw a sweet Christian movie called Remember The Goal. The new high school girls cross country coach helped her runners win State by running slow through the season. Prior to reaching State everyone thought she was crazy! Many of the girls quit the team. The parents wanted the coach fired. They were more concerned with their child’s individual performance. The team was barely qualifying at their track meets, but the coach was preparing them for State- the goal! No one could understand how running slower could help them win State.
Well they did win State. The track course at State was rigorous and required endurance to finish strong. Because the girls had trained so long to run at their pace, they had the endurance to win at State level when it mattered the most.
What is your goal? If it’s to write quality work for God’s kingdom, then don’t give up.
Keep a good pace. Stay focused. Get into your community. Study God’s Word. Allow God to teach you. It’s not about you – but Him!
I pray in 2018 you will enhance your writing career and give all glory and honor to God.