Thursday, March 5, 2015

How do you define success? by Terry Burns




If we are writing under a calling, God has an audience in mind for the work we are producing. Hopefully, He wants us to reach a huge number of people. We would all like the maximum number of people to read our writing.

With my book, Mysterious Ways, God obviously knew where He wanted it to go and He saw to it that it went there. I have no idea how that was accomplished. It wasn’t a bestsaeller, but it was where He intended it to go.

We all have to ask ourselves that question: What if the market God has in mind isn’t a large number, what if it is a smaller group?

What if it is only one?

What if that one is us?

Are we still willing to write in obedience if God has a very small audience in mind? I made the commitment long ago to do that. It’s something each of us needs to decide for ourselves.

We have to go through an exercise where we can really come to terms with what we deem to be success for our writing. Do we need the big sales to feel we have achieved success? Do we have to reach a certain group of people to feel that? For a secular writer, if they don’t sell thousands of copies, they aren’t considered a success. How many does a Christian writer have to reach to feel successful? 

If I only sold one book and it led to a person finding salvation, it would be enough although I certainly want to reach out to more. 

How do you define success?

8 comments:

Terri Tiffany said...

Thank you for this important reminder. I needed to read this today!

Rick Barry said...

There's a spiritual harvest going on in this world, and it's a good desire to wish for much fruit for our labors. Just this morning I was reflecting on the truth in your first sentence: "If we are writing under a calling, God has an audience in mind for the work we are producing."

Although producing any type of book is a business, books with Christian themes and messages is a business with a higher purpose than the mere acquisition of dollars. With all the hype on marketing, marketing, marketing, getting your name out there, building the number of Twitter follers, etc., it's easy to lose sight of the fact that a Christian author's #1 desire should be for God to use these written words to accomplish His purposes in people's lives. I want to keep that in mind as I seek endorsements and assist in marketing. May I keep in mind the need to touch living souls with my books, and not simply the thrill of seeing my covers on store shelves and receiving royalty checks.

Thanks for a proper perspective, Terry!

Terry Burns said...

Great post, Rick

Linda Glaz said...

It is hard to remember when you are in the middle of it as a biz. But so important. Nicely said all.

Stacey L. Lacik said...

Read Andy's post, and was motivated to sit down to write; read this one, and was reminded to focus!
Thank you!

Anna Read said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anna Read said...

Thanks for this reminder, Terry. I definitely need to keep this in mind as I go along.

I'm always trying to remember that maybe what I'm writing now will never get published, maybe I just need to do it to hone my craft, but what you point out is a much better reason for keepin' on keepin' on--not to mention staying humble!

inChristalone~Megan Vance said...

Thank you for sharing this Terry. It is so encouraging to read this. As believers, we don't have to have the world's mindset when it comes to our writing if it is a ministry from God. I was helped by reading this post.

Megan Vance