An author friend shared a post made by bestselling author Mary Demuth. She says, “This is why I’m taking a Sabbatical, and why I am having to reevaluate writing and speaking as a profession.” She in turn shared a post by Philip Yancy. You can read it here, along with all the comments, and mine, if they allow it through moderation. http://www.philipyancey.com/archives/4176
I expanded my comment a little and posted it on Mary Demuth’s page among the comments she was receiving. Here is what I said:
“How sad that you and the other commenters on this post just accept some mythical “end” to publishing opportunities when they are just beginning. What you described as “golden” was leaving it up to someone else to control everything you write and publish, including how long it takes before anyone ever sees it. We have come into a time of having the freedom to chose your editors, designers, and marketing opportunities, and of potentially reaching a worldwide audience every day on a blog, on Twitter, on Facebook. What is it that’s ended? Control and complacency for traditional publishers. What has begun? The day of writers who educate themselves fully about digital possibilities for serving God. We have over 2000 blog followers and have charted with several Amazon bestsellers. Nothing has ended. It is just beginning for us, even at 55+. I know courageous writers and are pushing through tougher stuff than you can probably even conceive of. It almost makes me angry that you call this discouraging. No, it DOES make me angry.”
All the comments on her fb page and his post are uniformly agreeing, sympathetic, commiserating. I know these are famous, successful authors, and claim to be in the Christian camp. I know they have a more powerful voice than I do. But I want to share with you a response I got from another famous bestselling Christian author, on Mary Demuth’s page. Julie Patrick-Barnhill (who has been on Oprah, her website says) said this to me:
“We’re all working out our story, Mary. I find your eagerness to diminish another writer’s truth/perspective within their writing/confession to be sad. We’re all making our way and writing out of the truth of said experience.”
I have been dismissed, I see. But I have not been silenced. So here goes. I will give it both barrels and whoever listens, listens. But know that I am not discouraged and no bestselling super-famous people can force me to be.
Many who still think the dream of magic publishers who do everything for you while you just write ever really existed will be discouraged. Those of us who know you can make your own works work know that God, not traditional publishers, determines what we can do. Our influence might not be in bestsellers by the traditional publishing standard. But every month, people are getting our books, reading our blogs, seeing us on Twitter and facebook. We are in the fight. We are contending for the faith. We are learning, growing, reaching out, instead of whining and complaining about how there’s no one to carry us into book publishing.
I will close by commenting on Julie Barnhill’s post. She said I made her sad by questioning “another writer’s truth.” Is there more than one kind of truth? Do I smell a secularist new-age unbiblical rat in the house? But wait, she’s been on Oprah, the queen of New Age. Nuff said.