Uncage My Brave turns three months this week. Still a newborn.
People ask me a lot about how many copies I’ve sold or some derivative question. I tell them all the same answer: I’m happy with the sales.
My only real sales goal was to recoup any expenses I incurred in the publishing process, and maybe a few extra bones to pay for some iced coffees. THIS goal was met in the first month, thank you, God.
I do not check sales numbers every day, or even every week. This is an intentional choice.
One of my blogger friends and soon-to-be-minted Christian author, Eryn Lynum, once told me she intentionally stopped looking at her blog statistics for one month and found so much freedom and perspective in the discipline. I could not agree more!
I promised myself I would intentionally not look at the book sales numbers. I get an end-of-month payment notice from Amazon and that is the extent of my looking.
I have so much freedom – from frustrations, from doubts, from self-berating for not “performing well enough.”
As an introverted, words-of-affirmation-love-language creative, I am prone to deep, cruel and entirely unwarranted self-loathing. I had to recognize this about myself and stem the tide before it started to rise. (I am also prone to metaphors.)
I certainly care about getting bank for my work. I certainly care about creating something people need. I certainly care that I am using my time and talent in a fruitful way.
What I care about most, however, is following God’s direction in achieving these things, and doing so means looking to Him and only Him. I care most about bearing a fruit that does not rot here on earth.
I cannot heed His whisper and the shouts of sales numbers at the same time.
I cannot give to the pull of His tug and the pull of human affirmation at the same time.
I cannot surrender to the message He has to speak through me and be glued to statistics at the same time.
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” Matthew 6:24
I choose God. Every time. Even if my ego gets shattered in the process, it is well with my soul.
I choose the freedom found in letting sales be what they will and trusting I listened well to what God wanted me to say and that He rewards obedience.
Although I do desire income, I know my true reward is not bank, which can be stolen. Nor is it fame, which can be thwarted in an instant, as many celebrities have learned the hard way. My true, pure reward is: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Some people dismiss this as sickeningly altruistic. So be it.
I am not naïve that what I am after is EXCEPTIONALLY DIFFICULT to attain because self always gets in the way.
Some days it is hard to live out this faith, I’m not going to lie. Some days I DO give in to the temptation to compare myself and judge my performance, good or bad, based on a number on my screen. On those days, I am invariably sullen and find myself right back where I should have stayed: on my knees.
It’s a balance I have yet to master, being humbly servant-minded and being aware of best business practices. Being submitted to God while learning how my industry realistically works. I do believe a balance exists, though, if I do not stop praying for the wisdom it requires.
So how are book sales going?
I am happy with the sales.
I am delighted what God is doing with this message (see my recent Facebook post if you want some amazement in your day).
I am grateful WITH TEARS how readers are responding.
I am beyond blessed by this experience, to know so many people are generously supportive of me and my nascent ministry, and by a God whose plans I cannot top and don’t want to attempt to.
It is well and sweet like honey with my soul.
(Lead photo via DepositPhotos)
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