Wednesday, January 27, 2016

WHAT TO DO? BRAG, SHARE, or PROMOTE

by Yvonne Lehman @YvonneLehman


On a writing loop I saw where a writer friend’s book was a finalist in a contest. I emailed him and copied the section showing his being a finalist and wrote, “Don’t you think you have something to tell your writer friends?”

He answered that he rejects any possibilities of bragging.

That totally surprised me. I wasn’t asking him to brag, but to share.

Of course, anyone has the right to reveal or keep quiet about their accomplishments. Then I recalled another friend who recently received a book contract after learning, trying, writing, re-writing, being critiqued for several years. She emailed me and asked if I would let our writers group know.

I said, “Absolutely not. For years we have supported you with prayers and effort and you weren’t quiet about what you were trying to do. Now, don’t be quiet about having one of your dreams come true. You tell it…with excitement and joy.”

She did, and we all rejoiced.

I remembered that she, too, had been reluctant. Is it because we hear phrases like, “shameless promotion” of one’s published books? It’s often said as if shameless means shameful. I think the shameless should mean we may promote without shame. Writing is a profession. What business or profession doesn’t promote?

That prompted me to look at DICTIONARY DEFINITIONS:

BRAG: pompous or boastful statement; arrogant talk or manner; cockiness, braggart; to assert boastfully - BOAST: assert with excessive pride (I would not recommend that!)

SHARE: to partake of, use, experience, occupy, or enjoy with others; often used with with; to talk about one’s thoughts, feelings, or experiences with others (I like that!)

PROMOTE: to contribute to the growth or prosperity of; to present (merchandise) for buyer acceptance through advertising and publicity (Who wouldn’t recommend that?)

And then, there’s further explanation. BRAGGING RIGHTS is entitlement to boast about something. BOASTING may imply a claiming with proper and justifiable pride (my note: such as finally meeting your goal or dream)

Pride may be negative or positive. We certainly need to guard against false pride or lack of humility. But hiding our light under a bushel is not humility. Jesus says to let our light shine.

A runner in town has medals hanging in his Running Shop of about 50 races in which he’s participated. I don’t know if he won. He ran the races. And he sells racing clothes, shoes, water bottles, accessories, health products to use while running. Is he bragging? No, he’s saying he’s qualified to help you. He knows something about what a runner needs on his feet, on his body, in his body. He’s saying, “I know from experience what it means to work at something and succeed” (whether or not he got first prize).

As a Christian, I am well aware that all I have, including the air I breathe, comes from God. I cannot write one word without his allowing it. But he doesn’t write one word of my books without my hands on the keyboard. We work together. That’s the wonderful joy of it. I’m thrilled to announce that God has blessed me, worked through me to accomplish something and to bring a little meaning into the lives of others. That isn’t pride. To me…that’s worship.

So when we say we won’t brag—is that saying I am thinking about me and what others think about me? I want others to see the product produced from trying and accomplishing.

Scripture tells us, without Him I can do nothing.

It also says, I can do all things through Jesus.

I love to hear about the accomplishments of my friends. I believe they love to hear of mine.

I feel that sharing what God has allowed me to do, or he does through me, gives glory to God.


What are your thoughts on this?


Yvonne Lehman is an award-winning, best-selling author of more than 3,000,000 books in print, who founded and directed the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference for 25 years, is now director of the Blue Ridge “Autumn in the Mountains” Novelist Retreat. She mentors for the Christian Writers Guild. She earned a Master’s Degree in English from Western Carolina University and has taught English and Creative Writing on the college level. Her latest releases include eight ebooks for Barbour’s Truly Yours line and a Harlequin/Heartsong series set in Savannah GA: The Caretaker’s Son, Lessons in Love, Seeking Mr. Perfect, (released in March, August, & November 2013). Her 50th novel is Hearts that Survive – A Novel of the TITANIC    

1 comments:

Southern-fried Fiction said...

Most of us are so surprised we're a finalist, we have to share it. lol But I've learned promotion is important. We have to look on our books as products.