Because who doesn't want to be a winner, right? As the final voting for the Efestivalofwords is wrapping up I decided I should see if I could get some votes for Sugar's Song, which is a finalist. I've tweeted some and asked a few friends, but I thought, well maybe I should try harder? If I try harder then I'll be a winner! That's how it works, right? In any sport the harder you work the more results you see, so it stands to reason the same would be true for this. This was me yesterday ('Cept I'm not that cute):
I convinced myself I was "Networking". Yup, that's what I was doing. I was networking with other authors to get votes for my book on a site most people hadn't heard of, so I could say I'm an 'award winning author' and so this:
TURNED INTO THIS:
Last night I was sitting here watching Sherlock and thinking about how I'd spent my day. I had taken care of my children, made a nice meal with my daughter, got a smoking good deal on shoes for my son, won a new Keurig coffee maker and talked to my brother-in-law who was now home and doing good after a very serious surgery. Notice what's missing? I did right away. I hadn't written anything all day. Well, save for a blog post about mouthwash and a whole bunch of private messages explaining why I was asking for votes. This was me at the moment of that realization:
I had done what I said I wouldn't do, and I can admit that. I let the devil play with my mind and whisper all those things about how my books will be more successful if I have the accolades to back them up, I might get a publishing contract if I have an accolade to back it up, I might sell more books, I might, I might, I might.
"To express possibility". He didn't promise me if I sold my soul to him any of those things would happen, just that they 'might'. I'm not willing to sell my soul for anything, so why was I allowing him to stay in there and play with my mind? I went to bed last night and prayed "Lord, give me strength." (But not in the minister praying kind of tone, more like in the tone my mom used to use when us kids were driving her nuts) I didn't ask for Him to intervene and make sure I win this, I didn't ask for strength, I was just being sarcastic. I didn't ask for anything, not even a sign. I just went to sleep. Without asking for it, I got two signs this morning. The first was when I went to bed my hard work had paid off and Sugar was ahead by several votes in the category, this morning, she was behind by one. Then I checked my sales report and overnight I had sold one copy of every book I have on Amazon EXCEPT this one:
That's right. I sold the first book in the series and the third book in the series, but not the second book in the series, you know, the one up for the award. I sold one of every other book in the other two series as well. Coincidence? Some might wager that, but I have the inside info on how bad sales have been this month. LIKE REALLY BAD. So suddenly overnight I made seven sales? I'm going to go out on a limb and say He was making a point. After all, He is the reason I write. He puts these conditions He wants me to write about in my heart and then expects me to take the ball and roll with it. It's not always easy, in fact, it's always really a pain in the butt when I don't know anything about polio, spina bifida, alopecia or any of the other things He tells me to write about, but I do the best I can and hope He does the rest. What's the rest? In my opinion the rest is making sure the book gets in the hands of the person He told me to write it for.
This morning I got up and read a blog post I wrote back when I found out Sugar's Song was nominated for this 'award'.
"Now, I'm sure some would say I'm being far too poetic about a simple nomination that could have been put there by a well meaning friend or family member. It's true, and that is quite possibly the case, but I still think it's my "Noah, didn't see the rain either" moment. Why? Because Sugar's Song has been out since November of 2012, and still only has 7 reviews. The other three books nominated in the category have 181 reviews combined. Clearly Sugar hasn't been read by the masses, so why is she sitting there with books like Intentional? Because someone needs to know it exists. Whoever I wrote this book for needs to know it's there, and this is how they are going to find it. Maybe they will hear from a friend who voted for a friend's book, or maybe they will happen upon it on Twitter of Facebook, but however it happens, it's finally going to rain. Sugar isn't going to win the category, but it's still gonna pour. This is the moment He asked me to wait for, just like He asked Noah to build a boat and face the ridicule of his family and friends, on the assurance that the rain would come, and after the rain would come the beauty of redemption."
That's a small excerpt for the post (feel free to read the whole thing if you'd like). I saw what I wrote that morning and I liked the part where I said, "Sugar isn't going to win the category, but it's still gonna pour." Last night, when I sold one of every book but that one told me I was still building the boat. I'm still gathering the animals and watching the clouds roll in. I got to wondering if Noah ever had days where he let the devil get in his head and tell him he couldn't build a boat. We'd all like to think the answer is no, he didn't, but I'm inclined to say yes he did. He was human and he was told to build a boat big enough to hold 2 of every animal on the planet. Who wouldn't stop pounding nails every so often and listen to a voice whisper that he "might" be crazy for doing this? But in the end he held onto his faith and did what the Lord asked him to do and he was rewarded richly, with his life and the lives of his family.
Regardless of how many people I ask to vote for me, Sugar isn't going to win this category unless it's part of His plan, but I don't think it is. I think His plan to is to prove to me I can do this with no one's help but His. He wants me to give the control over to Him and wait for the rain. Wait for the rain like a parched field of corn waits in the hot midday sun. Wait for the rain like Noah did as he pounded nails and wiped his brow, building a boat all by himself because everyone else told him he was crazy. Wait for the rain, Katie, and when it comes make sure you raise your face to the heavens and let it water your soul the way it waters the plants. In the meantime, quit letting the devil keep you from pounding the nails.
"But Noah found Grace in the eyes of the Lord."