Welcome back to Austen Promises and the Writer’s Journal!
WARNING: I will be mentioning my faith in this post. If you don’t want to read about it, you should consider moving on now.
Today I’m going to talk about something I’ve had on my mind a lot lately, and that is sharing other people’s work, regardless of genre. I’ve spent a large chunk of my time considering it, looking at it from all angles, and praying about it. In the end, I decided to go ahead and share books of all genres, and I’ll tell you why.
As you may already know, I am a woman of faith. I’m a Spirit-filled, born again believer in Jesus Christ who is learning to be Spirit-led. I’m also not at all legalistic, but I might talk more about that later. My point here is that I have spent a couple weeks now studying 1 Corinthians 13, and learning about love. God has shown me areas that I need to work on so he can increase my blessings, and love is a big one. Part of my problem has been that I’m afraid of doing the wrong thing, so I do nothing, and part of it has been worry that I’ll lose friends/readers/other people’s good opinion.
You know what, though? If I want those other authors to share my stuff so I can gain new readers, I have to play ball and share theirs, even if it’s gay romance. I don’t have to read it, and I don’t say, “You should read this” when I do share. I simply share without comment.
Also, I’m not supposed to be a people-pleaser. I’m supposed to be a God-pleaser. Sometimes, that means doing something that’s unpopular. Other writers (well, people in general) who are non-believers will not like all of my opinions and actions. Likewise, many Christians are not going to agree with or like things I say and do. The important thing to me is that I’m making God happy. I want everyone to like me, but in the end, it’s not important that some Christian with a checklist or some atheist, radical feminist doesn’t approve of me or my books or my behavior.
Then, too, who’s to say that my sharing something that I won’t or don’t read will not someday lead to that author coming to me and saying, “Hey, I know you’re a Christian but you still share my stuff and treat me well. Why is that?” If sharing a book release might open that door, I’d be in sin to refuse to share.
There’s this, as well: not all of my readers are believers in Jesus, and some have other tastes beyond what I write, and even beyond JAFF in general. Now, some of the more legalistic folks in JAFF, and I can right off the top of my head name three authors for sure and another who’s a probability, most likely have a problem with the idea of me sharing all manner of books. I’m guessing there are readers who share their dismay, as well. I don’t hold it against them, or condemn those people for their opinions, or for not sharing. That’s between them and God, just like my choice is between me and God.
In the end, though, I have prayed about this, and looked at what the Word says, and have come to the conclusion that God is okay with this. If I have missed it, He will tell me, and I can back up and try again.
I have peace about this, and I hope my readers will, as well.
Come back next Wednesday for another peek into my journal! <3