Writing novels is hard work. No, not the same kind of hard work as teaching school (did that for thirteen years) or being a lumberjack. But however fulfilling and joyful it is, the story creation process can be grueling at times. Marketing – for me, anyway – is grueling all the time.
Add a struggle with anxiety and digestive issues due to low serotonin levels due to low estrogen (I’ve passed the half-century mark as I write this), not to mention low energy levels, and I’ve had plenty of days in the past few years that I’ve been tempted to throw in my proverbial hat when it comes to my writing career.
Yet I keep on. Why?
First, the story ideas keep on coming, and they refuse to stay inside my head. 😉
Second – and really, more important – my faithful readers.
Every once in a while, a reader sends me an e-mail thanking me for a particular book and telling me how it made an impact on their life. Then there are all the encouraging four- and five-star reviews. One woman recently was tickled pink that I responded to her e-mail.
I was tickled pink because I was the very first Christian author she’d ever read! Out of all the hundreds, maybe, thousands of Christian authors out there, I was the first? Above Tracie Peterson and Gilbert Morris and Janette Oke and Christy Barrett and Francine Rivers and Lacy Williams and Susan Page Davis and on and on?
And this woman wasn’t some twenty-year-old who’d just gotten saved. No. She confessed to being, like me, perimenopausal.
I have one fan who responds to many of my automated e-mails, telling me how things are going in her life. A couple of weeks ago, out of the blue, she e-mailed me, “How can I pray for you?”
It just so happened that the night before, and that morning I found the e-mail in my inbox, I’d been feeling really down and wanted to quit everything. I summarized what I was going through, and she sent me the most beautiful, uplifting prayer!
The other day I discovered a comment on a post I wrote a few weeks ago from writing this one. Click here to read the comment in full. Essentially, the woman, who is almost my mother’s age, told me that I was her favorite author out of all the ones she’s read during the lockdown! She also encouraged me to keep on keeping on (in the post I more than hint at my frustration with the self-publishing world).
I’m sure I have fans who have prayed for me, perhaps even pray for me on a regular basis, but as Yeshua said, they keep it private so as to gain a heavenly reward.
And so, as we approach Christmas 2020 – which will prove to be different and perhaps difficult for many, if not most of us – I want to give you the gift of thanks. Thank you, dear reader, for encouraging me through reviews, e-mails, and blog comments. Thank you for reminding me that someone is receiving blessings from my work. That my work has purpose beyond entertainment.
Thanking you for helping me see that I am making a difference.
Merry Christmas. 🙂