Friday, October 24, 2014

How Many Four-Letter Words Do You Need? by C. Kevin Thompson

C. Kevin Thompson

Please welcome C. Kevin Thompson as a Regular Contributor for Seriously Write. He’ll be here every fourth Friday of the month, offering encouragement as we move into the weekend. I really enjoy Kevin’s voice and insight, and I think you will too! ~ Dawn

  How Many Four-Letter Words Do You Need?

Facebook. Marketing. Twitter. Platform. Blog. Followers. Brand. Instagram. Website. Goodreads. Constant Contact. Ebooks. Analytics. Hits. Page Views. Likes.

Okay, so they’re not all literally four-letter words. But admit it. You feel like they are sometimes:

“If I hear one more person talk about ‘platform,’ I’m 
 going to jump from one!”

“Twitter is for those who can’t spell and have to do so
 in 140 characters or less.”

You’ve probably read scores of articles and books on those four-letter words. Spend 30 minutes here, 15 minutes there, an hour a week everywhere. Right?

I did the math: 126.4 hours a day would get all their suggestions slated into my daily routine. That includes eight hours for actually writing my novels, and six hours for sleep.

Oh, wait, I forgot to add family time.

So much for sleep.

Of course, my tongue is firmly planted in my cheek. Yet, the truth of my words rings true. For many authors, the push to be successful motivates them to do it all. They believe what they read and act on what they believe.

But I have a question for you: What are your goals as a writer? What defines success for you?

I’ve wrestled with these questions. When I first started writing, all I wanted to do was “get published.” Ever been there? The problem, I soon found out, was that I had not written down “getting published” as a goal, per se. It was a desire. There’s a difference.

A big difference.

When you set goals, there is a sense of accomplishment when you reach them. You have to reassess at that point. Set new goals based on your present state of affairs. When you chase desires, on the other hand, there’s always “something more” to attain. Old desires give way to new ones. When I got published, we celebrated as a family. But then, another desire arose.


Another four-letter word. I wanted to write full-time. I needed sales. Ever been there? In America, sales denote success, or the lack thereof. Capitalism at its finest. But when you couple this desire with naiveté, you get a pushy writer who goes off the Christian rails. The kind of writer publishers and agents talk about at conferences…and not in a good way.

Are those your goals? Getting published and great sales? Is that why you got into writing? If so, good luck. You’re gonna need it.

Can I suggest a better way? Bloom where God has you planted you. As you write, continue to improve on the craft. Remain faithful. God will use you. And don’t be afraid to let Him define what that looks like. Let Him help you set the goals. The last thing we need is more of the same. The Body of Christ would look funny if we were all ears and noses (cf. 1 Cor. 12). Christian publishing is no different. There are many readers out there who may never pick up the Bible or an Amish romance, but may pick up your book. Make sure it’s worthy by allowing God to take those four-letter words, wash them in the Blood of Christ, and produce a beautiful garden with your life’s work.

Something ominous lurks under the waters.

Dr. Evelyn Sims, a brilliant marine biologist, is being watched. Her husband's mysterious death at sea—with the only survivor of the Greenback telling a shocking, unbelievable tale—has thrown her personal life into chaos. Her scientific views are being scrutinized. Her scientific views are being scrutinized. Her husband's office and their home are investigated. Called in by the FBI to help solve the mystery, Evelyn is thrust into her toughest research project ever...and forced into a maze of deception and betrayal.

Micah Gregson, the Coast Guard captain who rescued the Greenback, is determined to find out why a special unit at the FBI—the one assigned to cryptozoological cases—is involved.

Together Evelyn and Micah will uncover a plot more deadly than anything the ocean could ever produce. One that will either save Evelyn's life and redeem her career, or destroy everything she—and myriad others—stand for.

C. KEVIN THOMPSON is an ordained minister, having served churches in New York, Mississippi, Texas, and Iowa. He is married (for 33+ years), has three daughters, two sons-in-law, and five grandchildren. He speaks in churches on occasion, presently works as an assistant principal in a Central Florida school district, and plays the drums in his church’s praise team. He is a huge fan of the TV series 24 and Criminal Minds, loves anything to do with Star Trek, and is a Sherlock Holmes fanatic.

Kevin is a member of ACFW, Word Weavers International, and the Christian Authors Network (CAN), and his published works include two award-winning novels, The Serpent’s Grasp (OakTara, 2012) and 30 Days Hath Revenge (A Blake Meyer Thriller: Book 1) as well as articles in The Wesleyan Advocate, The Preacher, Vista, The Des Moines Register and The Ocala Star-Banner.

Facebook:      C. Kevin Thompson – Author Fan Page
Twitter:         @CKevinThompson
Goodreads:    C. Kevin Thompson