To the Victor Goes My Sanity

This post is Day 15 in The Year of Blogging Faithfully. I would love for you to follow along for all 365 days of the journey, by subscribing on WordPress or Blogger. Thank you in advance.
This year is going to change everything…

I sometimes feel as if a battle is being waged, and to the victor goes my sanity. People who know me well can attest to this: I am just on the borderline of insane all the time anyway. I often say that everything I do is outside the box, but truthfully I don’t think my brain even has a box. My ideas are unique and often crazy (some good, some horrible), my sense of humor is a bit (UNDERSTATEMENT ALERT!) quirky, and I get hurt often, mostly because I don’t see any reason I can’t make certain things happen, so I know I will. When I fail to make said things happen…FAILURE! I am driven, I am competitive (Probably too competitive.), and I am passionate. If you have me working on your side with those characteristics, you’re in pretty good shape. For instance, if we ever play board games together, you do want me on your team. Trust me on this. 

But what about when I’m using all of those characteristics for my own benefit? Well, that’s a bit trickier. 

The Year of Blogging Faithfully is not about selling books. It is entirely about mapping my spiritual journey for 365 days as my family and I follow God’s call and step out in faith. Well, a big part of that is selling (or usually in my case, not selling) books.

I am so torn! All the time. I believe my books are good. I don’t mean that to sound conceited. I mean, it just makes sense, right? If I didn’t think they were good, hopefully I wouldn’t have published them. Okay, so I believe they’re good, I believe there really isn’t anything else like them out there, I believe there is an audience for them, and I believe God has called me to be a writer. Well, combine all of that with the previously mentioned drive, competitiveness, etc., and I should be a superstar by now. (Did I also mention that I’m modest?)

So what’s the problem? Well, to a large extent, I’m the problem. I can’t bring myself to really, truly join the rat race of publishing. I will promote. I will blog. (Yeah…did you know I maintain three blogs besides this one?) I will lose money by sending out free books. I will design websites, maintain Twitter and Facebook accounts, and send out newsletters. I will, and I do. But I’m not willing to give more of myself to it than that. My relationship with God, my relationship with my husband, and my relationship with my children. Those things all come before any of the book stuff.

It hasn’t always been that way. When I first began writing the Abigail Phelps books, I was working (at least!) nine-hour days, I was going to the gym every single night. (Ha! Who was that person?!?) And then I was writing what eventually became an approximately 350,000 word trilogy. When was there time for God, husband, and children? Well, there wasn’t. I had my priorities completely wrong. I can’t go back there.

I sit in my little office area in our house, and I try to accomplish something – anything – with the book stuff each day. TMI Alert: I actually wrote yesterday’s blog in the bathroom because it was the only way I could get a moment to myself. My children constantly want my attention, and of course right now my husband needs a fair amount of assistance due to his knee, and I have to fight and claw my way to even a moment for myself each day. It wasn’t that way before. I don’t even have the job outside the home, and one needs only look at my ever-growing thighs to know I’m not going to the gym every day. How did I find time to write then, and now I’m lucky to get time for one blog, a Facebook post or two, and a Tweet?

Well, it’s because this is the way it’s supposed to be, isn’t it? Why do my children never leave me alone for a moment now, when before they hardly bothered me at all? I think it’s because they like me more now. I didn’t have time for them before, and I’m sure they sensed that. I can’t ever go back to that.

Just like I didn’t have time for my children, so they left me alone, I didn’t have time for God. So He left me alone. I’ve been a Christ-follower since I was eight years old, and I’ve never been without my faith. But there were certainly times I didn’t make my relationship with God a priority. In those times, He never abandoned me, but He didn’t nag me either. I was left alone to write and promote.

Now, not only do I fight for time for my writing and promoting, I fight for the desire. I still feel I am called to be a writer, but I don’t know what that means anymore. Maybe The Year of Blogging Faithfully is what I am called to write. Maybe I need to write more novels, and just be okay with the idea that they may never sell. Maybe I’m supposed to write the newsletter for my kid’s school. Maybe I’m supposed to write reviews for other authors, and spend my career supporting them so they can achieve success I am not destined to experience. I really don’t know.

All I know for sure is that I don’t need to know. Not right now. God has led me to this exact place, at this exact time, and these exact circumstances. He has a plan. And I fight the battle every single day, trying with all my might to stay positive and keep my eyes focused on the goal. I mean, I would love to be a bestselling author. (Even a decently selling author would be nice.) I would love to get “discovered” by someone who believes in my talent. I don’t need to be rich, but yeah…it would be nice to have some money coming in from books. It would be nice to get out of debt. It would be nice to feel like a success.

But am I willing to jumble the priorities again in order to get there? Not a chance.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go make lunches, do some laundry, play a little Muppets app with Noah, and take my boys to the pool. None of that will help me sell books, but it sure makes me forget I was ever trying to sell books in the first place. And what do you know… That makes me feel like a success.

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