Dear Followers, (If I have any left) I owe you a sincere apology.
I've tried over the last few years, again and again, to be dependable in my posting to this blog. If not every day, at least once a week It usually lasts a couple of weeks . . . and I'm behind again.
My excuse has always been the same - I've just got too much to do. Well, that is true. I DO have too much to do, but I should have dealt with it a long time ago, and not made you check back again and again to see if anything new has been posted. My bad. Forgive me, please.
I am a Christian, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, pet owner, wild-life rehabber, housewife, chief cook and bottle washer, Christian fiction author, editor, social-network participant and blogger. Admittedly, someone younger than I may be able to handle all that with one hand tied behind her back. Me? Not.
Every job on that list, excepting the last three, is non-negotiable. I must do them to the best of my ability every day - 24/7. You might think the job of Christian fiction author should be among the negotiable, but it's not. I was assigned that job by God about 11 years ago. He made it easy on me by promising to always give me the plot and subject matter. If I don't have a plot brewing in my head and heart, I can know He's is giving me a little vacation.
I have, once, tried to get ahead of Him by coming up with my own plot and plunging forward with it. It was a train-wreck. I tried to rewrite it to His satisfaction. Nothing worked. I asked my husband what to do with it, because no amount of re-writing brought it up to God's standards. He suggested - painful though it might be - to pray about it, and if no answer came . . . delete it with no further adieux. That's precisely what I did. Seventy-thousand words . . . gone . . . just like that. You know what? It felt good. It wasn't long before He planted His plot in my heart and head to replace the deleted one.
But I want to talk to you about 11 years ago. What did I do then, before I felt called by God to write Christian fiction? Well, I wasn't a great-grandmother or an editor yet, but I was a pastor's wife. Had been for over twenty-five years. It was those 25 years that gave me the insight into the battle that we, as Christians, fight daily. And it was those same 25 years that God refreshes in my mind, from time to time, to give me scenes and situations to be used in my novels that could only come from first-hand experience. Fictionalized enough, of course, to not infringe on anyone's privacy.
So, imagine my surprise when potential publishers told me I needed a "platform." Wasn't 25 years in the ministry and thousands of former congregants - who would surely recognize my name - enough of a platform? Apparently not. It took the better part of five years to procure a publisher, even though I got rave review from numerous people - including the publisher's own staff. And even then I only got a contract on the condition I "build my platform" by joining Face Book and Twitter, and establishing a blog. It was strongly suggested that I check my accounts in the morning and again in the evening before I hit the sack.
Up to that point, my association with the internet was quite limited. I only used it to contact publishers, agents, editors, and the like. I'd always steered clear of Face Book's predecessor "My Page" because I was (and am) a very private person by nature. But I joined Face Book because it was required. I have to admit I joined Twitter, but never used it. And I joined LinkedIn and Pintrest . . . and anything else that came down the pike - to build my platform. I also built and opened my own author webpage.
Suddenly, my time was no longer my own. Nor my husband's, nor my family's. Not even God's! Because I had to cut down on either my writing or my housekeeping (or sleeping, as was sometimes the case) to allow time for all my internet "responsibilities."
When I broke my hip last February and had to spend a month in rehab, I had no internet access. It was either put it out of my mind . . . or lose my mind. So I decided to put it out of my mind until I got home. Arg! What a mess I had waiting for me when I was once again able to access internet. It took another month to get caught up.
As soon as I accomplished that, I decided to do something about it. My first step was to thin out my Face Book friends. I'd accumulated around 1,600 . . . most of whom I didn't know at all. Sadly, for all the months and years I'd "cultivated" relationships on social network I can't reasonably credit even one book sale to the effort. None of those people want to buy my books. For goodness sake, we were all authors. Who could afford to buy a couple thousand books to appease all your author friends in hopes they will return the favor? I thinned my friends to 72 people with whom I am either related, real-life friends, or truly connected cyber-friends.
I tried to figure out how to get off LinkedIn, and in the process inadvertently sent out invitations to a hundred or so email contacts. (Duh.)
But even with those changes, I'm still chained to my computer desk for the majority of the day.
I began thinking about my life eleven years ago. We lived on a mountain in Oklahoma. I spent a good part of my day on my four-wheeler, nurturing animals, building fences, and killing scorpions. (Don't miss that one.) That was the period in my life when the Lord spoke to me about writing for Him. And that's when I began.
He didn't call me to write a blog, or edit, or join Face Book, or any of these other things that have been demanded of me. Simply to write novels . . . and enjoy the process. He would see to it the right people read my books. (Somehow along the way, I forgot that part.)
It wasn't until we moved back to Texas and I had my husband build me a fine office, that I began taking my orders from publishers instead of from God. And my life changed. Four books later, I'm spending less and less time outside in the sunshine. (To the point that I became vitamin D deficient), less time with my family and friends . . . less time with my animals. More time behind the computer. More time preparing frozen dinners . . .
Well, I won't belabor it any longer. I'm sure you've gotten the point.
Starting today - I'm making a BIG change in my lifestyle. I can't go back to the mountains, but we are once again in the country. The Piney Woods of East Texas. The change will begin with no blog, no Pinterest, no LinkedIn, very little FaceBook (friends and family only), more time in the prayer room, editing only when it pleases me (and when I'm not working on a God-inspired book.)
And outdoors, here I come!
My books will continue to be available. Hopefully at the rate of one new novel each year. (That's sort of what God and I had settled on.)
If anyone wants to talk with me, buy a book, complain (I hope not too often), or just check up on me . . . I'll always be available (until the Lord calls me home) at my website LynneWellsWalding.com or my email Lynne@LynneWellsWalding.com.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your faithfulness!