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Thursday, July 22, 2010

I'm going to announce a winner of the Beehive Apron today, but I'll do that at the end of the post. 

Before that, I want to share an insight I've had recently regarding establishing a platform for ministry - specifically a book writing ministry.

Next week I leave for She Speaks.  It truly is the highlight of my year.  If you don't know about it, please read more here.  It's for women who are called into some kind of writing, speaking or women's ministry.   This can be leading a neighborhood Bible study to speaking in arenas with thousands of people.  Or from writing a history of your life for grandchildren to writing a book.  And I get to direct the writer's track.  I still kind of pinch myself that God lets me do this.  I have so much fun while helping to equip women to advance God's kingdom.  Recently I read a passage that has application in this setting.

In my daily Bible reading I came across a passage I never remember reading.  Maybe that's because I haven't spent a lot of time in 1 Kings.  But tucked in the middle of chapter 20 read these words:
"The king of Israel answered, 'Tell him: 'One who puts on his armor should not boast like one who takes it off'.''"   (1 Kings 20:11 NIV)
Beside the fact that I've never had to write a sentence with two sets of single quotes inside it, this passage has an amazing truth  relevant to a challenge many authors face today.   And that's establishing a platform for selling books, and convincing a publisher it's enough to warrant a publishing contract.

Getting a book published is harder than ever.  There's a bottom line for 95% of all authors (specifically non-fiction):  You need to have avenues for selling your own book. It can't all fall to the publisher, because traditional book-selling avenues (Christian bookstores) are struggling.  So, publishers need authors who have a platform.   It's a partnership.

But establishing a platform is a challenge for an author.  It takes years to establish a good network of connections.  A blog following.  Speaking and teaching opportunities.  Newsletter subscribers.  Or build a ministry from the ground up.  Yet it only takes a few weeks or months to write a book proposal. 

When I read this verse, it reminded me that it's easy to write about what you WILL DO in establishing a platform.  It's easy to have big plans.  It's fun to talk about your vision.  It's much harder to actually do the work, week after week, month after month, to establish that platform. 

I write from personal experience.  I'm trained as a writer, so that's where I've always started.   However, today's writing climate actually reflects a truth I've learned about being a Christian:  Your insides have to match your outsides. 

This verse calls me back to a place of truth.  A place of digging in to the work God has called me to before I write about it.  Words spoken by Ahab king of Israel thousands of years ago, speak to me today:   "One who puts on his armor should not boast like one who takes it off."

Now, I have chosen a winner for the cute beehive apron.  Normally, I just pick a number at random and that's the winner.  But when I read that Melissa is a beekeeper with four hives, I knew she needed this apron.  Melissa- I didn't see an email address or way to contact you.  Please send me an email at editor@proverbs31.org.    If I don't hear from Melissa by next week, I'll pick another winner.

May the Lord bless you today!

In His Love,


Charlene Kidd said...

I am so proud of all you have done this year. Your blog is great. I do believe your thoughts on 1 Kings does apply to the ladies coming next week. I can't wait to see you then.

Shari Braendel said...

Hi Glynnis, I especially resonated with your phrase "your insides need to match your outside"...of course on a completley different level, except, if everyone would understand that it all goes together that would be so great. Book writing is not an easy thing...I was answering an interview question just yesterday about why I wanted to write a book and I had to pause because my answer was that "I didn't" but because of my platform, a book found me...we need to find our niche and speak from that place...whether it be the story God has allowed us to live thru or the story he has us in right now. love you and can't wait to see you!

Amy said...

Wise advice, my friend, and something I'll ponder as I present to publishers next week. Thanks for sharing.


Susanne Scheppmann said...

Glynnis, hey sweet writer friend. You are an amazing writer. I love what you're doing with both of your blogs. Way to go! You might just inspire me to blog again. :)

Jill said...

Glynnis, so thankful for coming to your blog today! I love your words and they simply echo what God has been saying to me. I was honored to be part of She Speaks last year and this year God said, "wait." Perhaps it's part of the putting on the armor process... Thanks so much for sharing and encouraging me. I'll be praying for you and all those attending She Speaks trusting He will speak to each of you!! Blessings, Jill

Melissa said...

I'm so excited to win this apron! I sent you an email too, butjust in case, my email is melissamor AT aol DOT com

I can't thank you enough! Something cute to wear while harvesting all that honey we should get this year.

Loved this post!

Jill said...

Glynnis, Hello again, I've been thinking about your post and agree with your thoughts, but wanted to post a question, "What advice would you give to someone in the putting the armor on stage?" Just curious and thanks for your insight!

Glynnis Whitwer said...

Jill - that is a great question. I would advise you to narrow your passion, and really know what God is calling you to at this time. Then go deeper. Become an "expert" at your chosen field. Build a foundation. Study. Minister. Know who else is ministering in your calling. Study what they are doing and see how God is calling you to something unique within that field.

For example, if you feel called to write and speak about parenting, try to narrow that down. Is it parenting boys, teens, children with ADHD, discipline, exploring learning styles, homeschooling, etc? Establish a foundation and then grow and expand from there. But be really good at something before you do.

I hope that helps.

Mary said...

Wow! God gives me just what I need when I need it! I have been struggling with focusing on a direction for serving God. I know he has called me into Women's Ministry. I will be attending She Speaks next week for the first time. I can't wait! I am feeling tugged to speak, write & lead bible studies. My prayer just last night was that God would help me focus in the direction he wants me to go. Your post and the comments from everyone else have been just what I needed.
I would covet your prayers for Monday night. I have my first opportunity to speak to a group of College Girls at an encouragement dinner. My prayer is that each of the young ladies will see Christ and His love for them.

Teske @ Mommies with Hope said...

Thanks for these encouraging and challenging words, Glynnis! I am looking forward to next week and this devotion has helped me to pause and reflect upon the God-given gifts and abilities I have been blessed with, how I have been called to use them for the Kingdom, and with what specific purpose. I so appreciate your ministry.


Anonymous said...

Hi Glynnis, It's been in my heart for awhile to write a book based on my childhood, how God has been there for me through some very rough times. But I don't even know how to begin to write a letter. But it keeps coming into my mind to do this, but I just stop thinking it and tell my self no you can't do this. But this morning I thought of it again then I came across your blog. What is your advice on this?