Monthly Archives: September 2012
Is there such thing as a calling? What is my purpose here on Earth? Is there even such a thing as purpose, or are we mindless drones, set upon a path of anonymity to keep the world turning? I need to know. I need to have something tangible, something I can grab hold of and focus on. I’m tired of simplistic answers. “If your heart is still beating, you have a purpose.” But what is that purpose? And I’m infinitely tired of Sunday school answers. “Your purpose is to glorify God in whatever you do.” That’s all well and good, if God doesn’t mind me spinning aimlessly along on my hamster wheel.
Glory and meaning are in all things, but I am in no way convinced that just anything will do as a purpose. After all, I’ve been taught that each person has a place in the body of Christ. Why then not in the scheme of the world? After all, a nose knows it is a nose. It doesn’t wonder whether it should be an eye or an ear. I wish I had a clue as to what I was meant to be, just like the nose. Instead I am amorphous. I am an anything, able to mold myself to fit whatever is needed of me. I am a jack of all trade and a master of none. I hate it.
Oh, how I envy the few who have the stroke of destiny to weave their tales for profit. I envy their comfort in grasping their purpose, their security in knowing they need only follow that path, their joy in following those dreams. I envy them while I sit anxiously spinning in my wheel, endlessly living check by check in a job I am “suited” for.
With a family and with responsibilities, I am bound by reality. Callings must needs be pushed back, if not forgotten, in the wake of necessity. Food and shelter take priority over that peace of purpose. And the wheel continues to spin. Effort and strength and will drain away. I am going nowhere despite my best efforts.
Perhaps the truth is that I feel helpless. I know my purpose. I see it each time heart strings are plucked by words I have written. I feel it each time the pen touches paper. And yet… I am helpless to follow it. Nothing died that first year of college, and everything was born, but my dreams shifted to the farthest corner of my reach.
Then again, how else is a calling defined but through hardship? Maybe my hamster wheel is not as static as I thought. Maybe the sea around me is not quite so uncertain.
It fills my mind like a fog, a literary fog I can’t seem to shake. Forms appear through the mist, shadows of thought that slip sideways, dark one moment and gone the next. Curls of fog spin their way through my mind, hushing the inner voice and clouding that inner eye.
For a moment, my mind’s eye sees the craggy side of a mountain draped in the golden haze of summer. I see them holding each other, high above the canopy of forest beyond and oblivious to anything but each other. The tree cradles them in its massive arms, a copper head leaning against ebony, their perch overlooking the gilded splendor. I raise my pencil to draw and the image vanishes into the mists of consciousness. Nothing remains but the lingering light of afternoon, faintly golden in the fog.
I drift through my day. I work, I move, I function. Always, though, the thoughts drift through my mind. They hover just out of reach, shadows on the outskirts of vision. Wisps of plot brush my cheek, talntilizing pieces of personality and emotion and scenery.
The threads of fog part and I can feel the pull of her. I can feel the rich hues of that imagined mind: the deep blue of despair, the hot red of anger, the bruised purple of heart ache. It swirls around me, a rainbow of ideas begging to become reality. I pick up my pen to give her whispers body, and they disappear…
It’s a fog I cannot shake. Oh, how I long for the rising sun to burn the mist away. Just one moment – just one! – of peace is all I need. A moment free from the demands of life: the cries of children, the reminder of finances, the call of housework, the needs of family and life and duty. Oh… I wish I had just a moment of sunlight to free myself, but I am stuck in the fog of my mind.
Today, my mind seems determined to skirt anything remotely productive (read: editing during my lunch break), so in an attempt to salvage as much productivity as I can, I’ll write on here. (I’m not sure why, but my mind insists this is fun and relaxing and NON-productive. Goodness… I’ve over-used that word…) As well as boycotting editing, my mind has given up trying to process, so forgive any ramblings I may have. The husband’s alarm went off at 5:15, just as I was finally getting to sleep, so everything’s running at half-battery today.
Time and again, I’ve run into one particular road-block. Perhaps you in the inter-web can help me with it. I am, by nature, a modest person. A highly-energetic, overly-talkative, put-my-foot-in-my-mouth person, but a modest one nonetheless. Promoting myself seems almost backwards to me, regardless of the logistics of the matter. After all, how do you promote without bombarding? In my experiences with BookRix and the multiple direct-selling companies I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, there seems to be no difference. Requests for trials, reads, votes, sales, and anything else possible is shoved forward, while Puss in Boots stares at you over the top. Who can resist those eyes, let alone the stories of desperation, desire, or drive? And yet… there is always that bitter taste left over. I should know. I’ve been on both sides, one as a Mary Kay consultant and the other as any of the above. It leaves a bitter impression on both sides. I hate having to dredge up little tidbits of manipulation or cajoling to get a sale (which is probably part of why I didn’t fair too well), and I hate being manipulated.
So then, in the world of a saturated book market, how does one go about gaining popularity WITHOUT this nefarious business? I would love to host a contest of some sort, but I have yet to be able to eat anything aside from ramen and canned vegetables, let alone afford an iPad or some cool shirts or even a gift card. God love those who have “liked” my author page on Facebook, for I am eternally grateful that they put up with me. I’m in no ways so naive to think that they read everything I post, nor that they follow half the links I post. Statistically speaking, I’m doing really well! 33% see each picture/quote/post that goes up on my wall. After perusing some of the other pages I follow, I’m beginning to realize that said 33% would be even more amazing if it was out of 100 people, or 1,000, or (as on my most favorite page) 12,419. The getting to such a point remains the problem.
Until Calypso comes out, what should I do? There are three and a half chapters out there on the inter-web (the half being the prologue). Is that enough to create interest in the story? If I were to post more links to lesser works, would enough people like it to spread the word? Am I even a good enough writer to create interest based off what I have written so far? What if I’m not? I know that many authors don’t have a backing beforehand, but my own vanity and the advice of others leads me to believe that popular sentiment can be important. Should I create a book trailer? How the heck do I even do that??
So many questions and doubts, yet I am determined not to resort to begging.
What are your thoughts? What suggestions would you give? Opinions on the begging vs. promoting? And, does anyone know how to create a book trailer???