Post Christmas, Post Publication

by Marcia Lee Laycock, @MarciaLaycock

Well, it’s all over for another year. If you’re anything like me, I always feel a little bit let down just after Christmas. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the season, but that somehow, after all the anticipation, the reality just never seems to hit the mark.

I have had similar reactions after finishing a book manuscript. Typing ‘The End’ is thrilling but there’s always that niggling thought, ‘oh no, now what? ’We all know the work of publishing a novel does not stop when the writing is done. That’s just the first mountain to climb. Then there’s all the marketing and promotion that needs to be done and most of us dread it.

I’ve been in that camp for some time. Like many writers, I just want to write. I don’t want to be bothered with all that marketing stuff. But recently I’ve been trying to adjust my attitude. I was listening to an audio track about marketing and one line struck me – “Want reviews and endorsements? Then be a reviewer and an endorser.” Since hearing that quote I’ve tried to think of all the promotion and marketing as just another way to give. When I send out newsletters to my email list I try to think of ways to bless them, not just ways to entice them to buy my books. When I post notices on forums and Facebook about my books I try to think of my work as a gift to those who might need my words in some way, not just as a means to rack up the likes and raise my Amazon ranks. When I began thinking of it this way the process was suddenly much more enjoyable.

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It astonished me that I have not followed this path before. But then, we are self-focused beings. Giving is not always our first inclination, so it’s something we have to be trained to do, like little children who must be taught to share their toys.A humbling thought, isn’t it? Thanks be to God that we don’t have to completely rely on our own nature, because there is One living in us who will guide and direct, even in this. As 2 Corinthians 12:9 tells us, in our weakness we are made strong as we turn to Him and rely on His wisdom and grace. As we abide in Him, he provides all that we need to accomplish His purposes in our lives, even down to the details of our marketing strategies.

Isaiah 58:11 says, “The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”

I love that picture of the sweet spring waters gushing forth without fail. I imagined it as a geyser of words, flowing out into the world to help in the building of God’s kingdom on earth.

And suddenly, those post-Christmas and post-publication blues are fading fast.

One Smooth Stone

Desperate to escape his past, the police, and especially, God, Alex Donnelly picks a good place to hide – the Yukon wilderness – but he finds even there he is pursued. What will it take for him to discover that no matter how far you run, God will find you, and no matter what you have done, God will forgive you?

Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada where she is a pastor’s wife and mother of three adult daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone. The sequel, A Tumbled Stone was shortlisted in The Word Awards. Marcia also has four devotional books in print and has contributed to several anthologies. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan.