For all my intent to blog regularly, I haven’t done so well! No post for weeks, or is it months?
There’s been a lot happening.
Getting to Round 3 of Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense Killer Voices, but not to the final round (congratulations to the lovely newly fledged authors who have already sold from the contest, Dana Lynn, Tammy Johnson, and Michelle Karl!).
Getting a revision request on my beloved Love Inspired submission, His Father’s Son.
A seriously ill mother-in-law who needed attentive nursing care, now thankfully fully recovered.
A holiday in Bulgaria, in the lovely village we hope to move to one day, God willing.
Working on my self-publishing plans, designing covers for the Love In Store series, planning a prequel novella, arranging editing, reading all I can on author branding and marketing. Yep, back to front, I have the cover and the marketing plan before I’ve written one of the stories! Though it does make sense with the covers. So hard finding stock images to suit my idea of how the couple looks AFTER the story is written. Finding a cover image I love first means I can use that to help me visualise the couple as I write their story, instead of using images of actors and actresses then finding NO stock images look even vaguely like them!
But the branding. Oh my, the branding! It makes me feel something like a can of baked beans or soft drink. It’s the reason I haven’t blogged for a while, because I know I need to start a new self-hosted website, and I was getting myself in a tangle about what I was “supposed” to say.
Then in my quiet time today, I realised what I’m “supposed” to do is just be myself. My author brand is who I am. What my stories are about. Where my focus is. What the work is that God’s given me to do.
He made it very clear to me over a year ago, when I was about to publish a very secular story, that His will was that I write for him. I’ve worked so hard, been so focused. maybe too focused. At times, I’ve put writing ahead of my husband.
Today, what God showed me is that Love truly is His work. Love is the work He really has for me to do in this world, the stories are a by-product. I need to come from a heart full of love first.
If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. (I Corinthians 13:1-3, The Message)
Love is the work I need to do. The hard sometimes painful job of truly loving those closest to me.
But I have help. If I let it, God’s love will fill me, flowing like a stream.
Love. Encouragement. Hope. That’s what I want my brand to be. That’s what I want my life to be. That’s what my blog needs to reflect. That’s what my stories need to reflect. This is who I want to be.