According to RR Bowker, there are now over 3 million books published each year. So why should any of us add one more to the mix?
Because of the power of your story.
While not every author will obtain a publishing contract for their efforts, let me remind each of you that this is not what determines your worth or the worth of your book. Do not let it be your seal of approval.
So why should any of us sit down and write our stories. Let me share some important facts.
Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, if you feel you are called to write, then how can you do otherwise? If you sense in your heart a mandate to write this message or story within in your heart, then you need to obey. Put your seat in the seat and do it. Remember often times our next piece of the puzzle doesn't become clear until we have walked in obedience to the last instruction we have received.
2. Books are Mentors
If you're just doing this for money. Then stop here. This message really isn't for you. If you are doing this for ministry. Keep reading.
My teen and early adult years were in the days long before the mentor crazy took hold. It's vogue to mentor or say you are a mentor in today's society. When I was growing up, this was a concept that few seemed to grasp...that they had the ability to impart and mentor.
Parents, pastors, teachers, bosses, etc. are all called to be mentors simply because of the role entrusted to them. Unfortunately not all will fill this role. In my case very few of those in leadership roles in my life stepped in to fill their role to really impart. Either they didn't recognize the responsibility entrusted to them or they chose not to, but in any event, it didn't happen to the degree it could have. I know there are many who share this experience.
Thankfully I still had mentors...in the form of books.
Now I'm going to get real...The past four years have been a particularly difficult season in my life in which I desperately needed insights a mentor could provide. But more often than not, my mentoring came through the books God brought across my path. Thankfully the authors, through their books, were willing to speak wisdom to me, even when others didn't.
Practically every book project I assisted my authors with during this season, had something in it that spoke to my soul specifically in regards to the season I was in. It happened so often, it ceased to be coincidence. (For any of my authors reading this, thank you. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to work along side each of you.)
Some of the books were given to me, and were just exactly what I needed. Some seemed to jump out at me as I was walking down the aisle of a book store. One seemed to have a supernatural spotlight shining on it grabbing my attention. And so I read and read as if my life depended on it, because at times that's exactly what it felt like.
All of these books spoke intimately to my heart, something I needed to hear during this time. Something that no one else was saying to me. It was a word in season.
And then I have to ask, what if that individual had never written that book?
Very few of the books I have been reading in this season were from well-known recognized authors. A few were, but the majority were not. They are books that may never sell hundreds of thousands. And yet it was the right word, at the right time. It was a truth that I needed in my life.
Again, what if that author had chosen never to write that book? My season was so very hard at times, I can only wonder, what if any of those pieces I received from these books had not been there? Would I have made it out of that difficult time? All I can say is I am grateful the stories were there and available to me. They became a balm for my soul. Sometimes it was truly the rope to which I clung.
The book(s) within in you may never become bestsellers. They may never attract the attention of a big publisher.. or any publisher. But that doesn't mean your book has not or will not touch lives. The question you have to ask yourself is, "Am I supposed to write this book?"
Don't just write to write. Write because you are called with a message to write. Write because you cannot do otherwise.
I know individuals who are writing their books, to leave a legacy for their kids. Thank you. You are choosing to be a mentor. Some write knowing it may only go to a handful of friends and still they write. Some write, with hopes that yes, it will gain a foothold in the broader spectrum in the marketplace, but even if it doesn't, still they write.
Thank you for your obedience and dedication.
You never know how your life will impact someone else. In the same way, you never know how your story, which you become vulnerable enough to share, will impact the reader...maybe someone like me who needed the insight, wisdom or encouragement offered at just the right time.
Never underestimate the power of your story.