Should Christian writers self promote?
That’s the question that’s been buzzing round in the circle of people who attended a recent ACW Writers’ Day. We explored how we could build our platform as writers, and were encouraged by Liz Babbs to see that if we are wanting to get God’s message out there, we are not promoting ourselves, we are promoting that message.
But still some of us squirm with embarrassment! It seems all wrong – and yet, freelance professionals in any area know that they need to promote themselves – in order to earn a living. It is part of the job, after all. If you want to be a professional freelance anything, you have to promote your work.
It’s that distinction – I don’t want to promote me, I want to promote my work, and through it, I sincerely hope, glorify God. I need to keep an eye on my motives – while at the same time acknowledging that my motives are always going to be slightly muddled. I offer them to God, muddle and all.
I love writing, and am extremely grateful to God that I am in a place to use it – that it can be source both of expressing myself and encouraging others – a way of learning and discovering as well as teaching – and I think James’ warning about the responsibility and accountability of teachers will often apply to the Christian writer too (James 3:1ff – how we use our tongues – our words). If we are going to promote our work and get our message out there, we need to be accountable – we need to check our theologies and our biases, ensure we do not put stumbling blocks in the way of others or promote vain, empty philosophies which are unhelpful and unhealthy.
What is it I am trying to say? Is it good, right, lovely, pure and true? Do I think on these sorts of things as I write? (cf Philippians 4:8)
Lord take the muddle of my motives and cast away the ugly bits. May I, in whatever part of my life, glorify you and seek you with all my heart. I want to shout from the rooftops the whisper of your Spirit. Show me the right way of doing this.