Friday, August 2, 2019

Balancing the Projects by Melinda V. Inman

Meme: We can't do both intensive marketing and insightful thinking simultaneously
A couple of months ago, I wrote about God’s smile upon this year’s writing projects. With joy, I’m producing both a novel and a novella in 2019. For some of us, that’s no big deal. Hats off to you!

For others of us, that’s astonishing. (It is for me!) At one time, this was thought to be impossible. After all, Jane Austen only produced six novels in her lifetime. How could dear Jane have even thought of churning out an entire novel and a novella in one year? Of course, she couldn't.

We have computers. She didn’t. We can research, write, edit, revise, and publish using only our fingertips and our keyboards. Dear Jane wrote in longhand on parchment using quills and India ink.

Now it’s easy. At that notion, we all throw back our heads and laugh, right?

Unfortunately, now we have myriads of distractions every single day. We must man Facebook groups, Twitter accounts, and Instagram. We must constantly chronicle our lives, floating them out there in consumable sound bites and photos, for we are our brand, and we now must do all our own marketing.

We can barely grasp a moment’s silence, let alone hours with no interruptions as we contemplate our next plot twist or search for the perfect word. We don’t have the space for thoughtful reflection, unless we leave our homes, turn off our devices, and go beyond the reach of any Wi-Fi signal. Even then, it takes days to unkink our brains from the short attention spans to which we’ve accustomed them.

What, oh what, is the beleaguered writer to do?

Please, don’t consider this sacrilegious. I’m certain that I’m on solid spiritual ground. Brace yourselves.

We must unplug. We must disconnect. We must shut it down.

I’m sorry. I hear all of your objections. They’re my objections, too.

First a caveat: I don’t mean permanently. Whew!

The truth is that meeting with the Lord consistently to find the strength and sustenance for the writing journey and for life as a Christian requires quiet and contemplation. This is true of the composition of a novel as well, let alone a novella at the same time. This means that we can’t do both intensive marketing and insightful thinking simultaneously.

There. I said it. What they ask of us is impossible around the clock, every day, all year. It can’t be done with grace.

So, what do we do?

We still take time with the Lord each day, meditating on his Word.

But then, for half of each year, some of us engage in all of our marketing and blogging, securing it all away in blog posts ready to publish and in paid marketing schedules like Buffer. And then, for the remaining months, we write and draft fiction exclusively with no concern for marketing, other than responding and interacting.

Other writers do this same work in smaller bites. We pack our Buffer and our blogpost feed with a month or so of posts and tweets, all ready to go, knowing we can also jump in for ten or fifteen minutes on each platform after our writing work is done each day. And then, with all of that ready for the month, we devote the majority of our time to fiction.

All of us are wired uniquely as writers. None of us can work like anyone but ourselves. So, how do we know which method to use?

We pray. We rely on the Lord. He will show us the plan that works best for our individual brains and our personal work habits and processes. God, our God, is all over in this. He’s our Maker, the Giver of our gifts, the Inspiration for our work, and the Creator of the world of story about which we write.

Hit your knees. Ask him. Call on him. He’ll provide the plan specifically for you. Follow it by his grace. Walk in his steps.

God bless you, dear writer. Go forth and write!

What they ask us to do is impossible around the clock, every day, all year. It can't be done with grace. So, what do we do? #SeriouslyWrite #WritingCommunity #FictionWriter via @MelindaVInman
Melinda V. Inman, Author of Refuge; Fallen; and No Longer Alone

Raised on the Oklahoma plains in a storytelling family, Melinda Viergever Inman now spins tales from her writer’s cave in the Midwest. Her faith-filled fiction illustrates our human story, wrestling with our brokenness and the storms that wreak havoc in our lives. Find her weekly at http://MelindaInman.com/blog/. To find her work and to be notified of future published novels, follow her at http://bit.ly/MelindasBooks/.

Connections:

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Melinda-V-Inman/189731601076470
Website: http://melindainman.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MelindaVInman
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16 comments:

  1. Our world is a crazy one. You sum it up well, Melinda! God bless!

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    1. Thank you, Nancy! Sometimes it’s hard to get our brains to unkink due to all the craziness!

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  2. Amen sister. I understand exactly how you feel. There are so many distractions to keep me from writing. I am working on putting them away and relying on God to help me reach the finish line.

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    1. That’s the best strategy, Yvonne! Those distractions can pull us away from our time with him and with our family, and away from our important work. We must rely on him to navigate the craziness!

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  3. Amen. We must share time with Him first. Too many distractions can cause us to lose our way.

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    1. Melissa, if he’s not the priority. All else fails! Time with him is essential! I agree 100%! Thank you for commenting!

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  4. Melinda, I have no objections to unplugging. 😊 I'm learning that it's a must if I'm to stay spiritually, physically, and emotionally healthy. Great article, my friend!

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    1. It absolutely is! I agree! We must unplug. We can’t allow the tyranny of the 24/7/365 social media world to snatch away our time with our Lord, the quiet required for our work, and the balance needed to continue to be productive. The noise cannot win! I so agree, Gail!

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  5. So very true!! I couldn’t have said it better. It is such a challenge but important.

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    1. Jessica, we must continually prioritize this, or the rush of non-stop social media will win and strip away all that is essential! This is the battle!

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  6. Amen!! Well-said, Melinda. This is what I needed to read, so thank you!
    Blessings, Patti Jo

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    1. I’m so glad it was timely for you! I write what the Lord lays on my heart for the encouragement of the writers who congregate here.

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  7. Busi-ness consumes us. So importat what you saying. How we find that balance. Great insght!

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  8. Melinda, thank you for this wonderful post. I especially appreciate you saying, "The truth is that meeting with the Lord consistently to find the strength and sustenance for the writing journey and for life as a Christian requires quiet and contemplation." So very true. And extremely necessary.

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