“The truth is most of us will continue to labor on in relative obscurity” – tweet by Women Writers
I’m actually comforted by those words. I’m comfortable with obscurity. I’ve been writing in some form all of my life and have no problem with continuing in relative obscurity. I’m much more comfortable in the background than front and center. Some would call this humility, others hiding your gifts under a bushel basket.
At the Christian Writers Conference I attended three years ago, one of the organizers addressed this situation. “If you are called to write, then you are called to share your writing,” he had stated. He addressed the myth that if you are writing for God, seeking publication is secondary to that calling. Rather it is an integral part of that calling, he claimed.
I can understand these sentiments. If I am writing for God, then isn’t it up to God to spread the word? It is and it isn’t. How can God make this happen if we aren’t doing our part by being out there publishing and promoting our work?
I love writing. I love the creative process, designing something out of nothing. And now that I’ve discovered self-publishing, I’m enjoying the process of taking a book from a mere thought in my head to an actual book, seeing it evolve as I get feedback from others, editing the book and seeking out a cover design. It’s fun. Whereas what I do to promote my writing can feel like so many “shoulds” – those things that my super-ego tells me I “should” do, not what I want to do.
It is a balancing act, knowing how much time to spend on promotion, versus the time on creating. When I was seeking traditional publication, I always had manuscripts out there to publishers. It was a slow process of sending pieces out one at a time and waiting for months before hearing back. I would receive rejection letters and turn around and send the piece out to someone else. Or I would put the project on hold while I pursued something else. That’s how I kept balance. In between rejection letters I kept writing, not focusing on the submission I had send out.
If I did everything I’ve been told to do to promote what I write, it would require full-time. Rather than do that, I pick and choose what I do to market my writing, and trust God to do the rest. If I remain in relative obscurity, then so be it. I’m in good company.
Two thousand years ago an obscure carpenter died an ignominious death on a cross. Outside of the gospels, the only written reference to this carpenter is a blip in the writing of Josephus. He could have been just one of the many rebels that arose during that time in the Middle East, had he not rose from the dead, had he not been the Son of God.
So, relative obscurity, bring it on. It holds no fear for me. I’ll continue to do what I love and leave the rest to God.
What are your thoughts on working in obscurity?