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Join Christian authors as they share their "Songs of Salvation" to uplift and encourage believers and glorify God.
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And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.
Revelation 12:11 NLT
Surviving The First Year as an Author: Learning to Trust God
by Jessica Kate
I’ll be honest: this is the bad version of this blog post. In my relationship with God, I don’t feel that I’ve been learning any earth-shattering truths lately, at least, none that will seem earth-shattering to anyone else.
That’s because it’s a fairly simple concept to grasp when God says ‘Trust Me’. I have no fresh insight to make these words seem striking and new–just a story of what I’ve experienced over the past year.
Receiving my publishing contract just over 12 months ago was a dream come true—and something I’d worked early mornings, nights and weekends for. For years. And it’s an opportunity I’m still deeply excited about. But with it came an unexpected amount of pressure—pressure I put on myself.
Am I putting enough effort into marketing? Is the marketing working? Is my story interesting? Will my book flop and let everyone down? These questions circled my head constantly, and I slid from ‘hard worker’ to ‘workaholic’. I became stressed all the time, and convinced my writing career was doomed to fail.
My family noticed my stress, and eventually convinced me to talk to someone who could help me strategize ways to deal with it. I had never expected to visit a psychologist, but the friendly video chats with this Christian lady were different to what I expected, and instantly helpful.
She helped me identify lies I’d been believing—about God, about myself, about my happiness and my work. She gave me physical strategies—deep breathing, power walks to burn off stress chemicals, less screen time, etc. We set a limit on the amount of time I spent working. And she encouraged me to repeat truths about God every morning in my quiet time.
The comparison game is a challenge for most authors—especially with social media now a necessary part of our marketing strategies…and also a highlight reel for how great everyone else is doing.
But the funny thing is, when I ring and chat with some of my friends who have the most impressive Instagram feeds, I learn that they’ve been struggling with many of the same things I have. This has challenged me to be more open with the tough side of this dream author life, because when authors I admire have been authentic with me it’s been really helpful.
So I hope this little story is handy. The comparison trap is real, and never useful to us. Our high expectations of ourselves may be more unhelpful than anything else, and it can take a combination of spiritual, physical and mental actions to shift into a healthier place.
But thankfully God doesn’t leave us alone in any of it, and is here to guide us into an ever-closer relationship with Him.