Most authors seem to be more concerned with being a best seller, but I want to be a best teller. It doesn’t really matter how many copies I sell if the words I’m writing have no real meaning. When I finally decided to put my writing out there, I wasn’t sure what I was doing. I just knew that I wanted my stories to be good. I wanted them to capture something about the human condition that some authors miss because they are trying so hard to make sales. There are some authors out there who are so focused on the sale that they even discourage other authors from telling the tale. I’m not one of those. I want to encourage other authors to say what’s on their mind and to not be afraid of telling their stories. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be real.
When I first started Higher Ground Books & Media (formerly Books from Higher Ground), I had no real direction, only a desire to keep telling the stories. My characters weren’t ready to die and I had so much more to say. I was fortunate enough to have been working with a great publisher (a Divine connection, for sure) for several years when the opportunity to become my own publisher came into view. The publisher decided that he needed to pursue other goals and priorities and he closed up shop. He graciously gave all of his authors back the rights to their work and wished them well. And from there, came the idea to try and do this on my own. His encouragement helped me gain my footing and to have the confidence to do something I had no idea how to do.
Thankfully, I was also listening for God’s direction and He was telling me to take a chance. And like every other time when He has told me that I needed to go forward, I was scared. I wasn’t sure how to move ahead. I didn’t think it would work out well. Along the way, there were times when I wanted to give up. There were times when I was certain that I was headed down the wrong path. There were times when I just felt like the return wasn’t worth the investment of time, money, energy, and spirit. But…I prayed about it. I talked to God when I drove to work. I talked to God when I woke up in the middle of the night. I talked to God when I was ready to hit send on an e-mail telling everyone I was done trying to make this thing work. And I sometimes heard absolutely nothing. But, then I remembered that I had heard somewhere about some other people who had no clue about what God wanted them to do. Throughout the Bible, the people who were chosen by God to carry out His work often had no idea why He chose them or how He expected them to be able to do what He was asking them to do. But they went forward and did what they knew to be right in their hearts. And in their obedience, they fulfilled His purpose for their lives.
So, it doesn’t matter if people say you shouldn’t write or if they tell you that what you have to say isn’t necessarily worth hearing. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t doing things the way other people are doing them. And there are people everywhere who will object to the way you do things…even when you are doing exactly what you heard God tell you to do. In the end, if you are following His will and it lines up with His word, then you will be okay. One Great Big Caveat here…Make sure that you actually understand what it means for your actions to line up with His word. You can be pretty confident that His word isn’t telling you to hurt others. So, even if you have a story to tell, be sure that you are telling your story to help others heal and not just to avenge wrongdoing. Sometimes we get this mixed up and we are so driven to do the thing that we forget to listen for His instruction on how to do the thing. And moving forward without instruction can be a very dangerous thing. So tell your story, but tell it for Him. This is what will make you a Best Teller in the end.
…God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.
— 1 Corinthians 1:27