When people ask what I do for a living, I have a bad habit of saying ‘I’m just a mum’. I even try to prepare myself to answer differently, but I always seem to sneak the ‘just’ in there. But there really is no ‘just’ about it. I am a mum. And it’s a very important role. But let’s not open up that can of worms.
Let’s open up another.
I saw something on Twitter that got under my skin. Lots of things on Twitter tend to these days. But this one hit me a bit hard because I could relate to it personally.
How does this relate to me? I received feedback from a publisher that my sample chapters read like a talk or a blog post. And I think I could understand where they were coming from (I could do with a lot more guidance in the world of book publishing!). It was my first time submitting something to a book publisher and I was just super thankful for feedback and the opportunity. The publisher also said that I was an excellent blogger which I took to be a compliment. And I still believe it is. But then there was this…
I don’t want to read too much into this. I know that Jackie is not degrading bloggers. She is a wonderful writer, speaker and poet. There are many good points made in the Twitter thread. All she is saying is that some books should be blogs rather than books. But it got me thinking. Am I just a blogger? A blogger who writes but unfortunately not up to the mark of making it as an author? Am I not creative enough to write an engaging, wonderful, thought-provoking, must-read book? Is my writing stale? Uninteresting? Is my writing boring that it will only suit the medium of a blog? Will I ever be creative enough to string words together in book form?
Harper Lee said:
“I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.”
My writing hide needs to be thickened. Rejection is a part of the process. So is Twitter. I’ve just got to keep writing. It might be stale and boring for one reader, but perhaps it will encourage and strengthen the next. What I love about blogging is that my words are out there in the world right now. Readers around the world are reading something that came from my heart. I might not have a book deal (yet), but I am a writer. Not just a writer. I am a writer. Not just a blogger. I am a blogger. But it’s not really about labels, is it?
One thing I have experienced is that the Lord is involved in the writing process. My husband always said that God is the marketer. The writing is going to go where He wants it to go. If it means that I am sat away typing on a blog – may it be for His glory. If I am scribbling down notes in a coffee shop – may it be for His glory. If I am offered an advance from a publisher – may it be for His glory. If I am no longer able to write – may whatever I do be for His glory and not my own.
I’m thankful for words and the ability to write. It is something that I have treasured since I was small and now I delight in as a mum who reads to her child. All I want to say now is thank you. Thank you to those who read my blog. Thank you to those who take the time to like, comment or share it on social media. Thank you to the publisher for giving me a chance. Thank you for Jackie Hill Perry for bringing a conversation in book publishing to my attention and for being an inspiration to me as a writer and follower of Christ. Thank you Jesus for all of the ways we can create. May it always be for your glory.