In 2008, I wrote an article titled, the Hezekiah Effect for Writers that spoke to the specific span of time a writer has with each work to make an impact in the marketplace. Four years later, I am persuaded as a Christian Writer or for writers that happens to be Christian that our voice must be heard amongst and in response to the rhetoric of the day. I’m thinking, Jabez, from 1st Chronicles 4:10, and his cry for blessings and increased exposure should similarly be the prayer of an author preparing to launch a book, in my case, my fifth novel.
According the Bible, Jabez was birthed in pain. If an artist were to be completely honest, it is the stress, the solitude, and yes, the pain likened to the force of an oyster producing a pearl that produces the greatest work. As I think of my novels, one was written while I was treading water as a middle school teacher with limited resources and limited pay in an urban school system, and most recently, the gestation of my latest novel went from its last trimester to delivery in my son’s hospital room during his many repeated stays. Writing a novel is laborious and requires, at least for me, a recovery period to get the character and plot lines out of my system.
Success in the current publishing industry can be daunting. It is my prayer that my readership grows with each title, for obvious reasons that book sales would translate to more revenue, but also that my efforts and message would translate as well. Social media is great but does not necessarily translate into more sales. Publishing provides a platform for a proverbial rocket ship to transcend time. Just like any time machine movie worth its weight, whatever you carry with you, leave or bring back could alter the landscape. It seems as if everyone can and are trying their hand at publishing. Just like finding your writing genre or niche, you’ve got to examine your motives for writing to see how you stand out amongst the rest. That’s why in my maturity, I try to write with the intention of being more poignant and substantive.
Check out Jabez’s prayer. God’s Word translation records, Jabez prayed to the God of Israel, “Please bless me and give me more territory. May your power be with me and free me from evil so that I will not be in pain.” God gave him what he prayed for.
Jabez’s name was recorded just this one time in the Bible. In terms of the publishing industry he was a mid-list author, at the bottom of the roster or left to do it on his own. He uttered this simple prayer for recognition out of the purest intentions. He prayed for power and that he would be void of evils of his time, so that he would not suffer needlessly because of it.
Jabez reminds us God is still in the prayer answering business. He heard Jabez and answered him. It’s my prayer that he also honors the work of my hands and increases my harvest to his satisfaction.
About the Author
Sherryle Kiser Jackson is an author of six titles, most recently Land of Promiscuity and Path to Promise for Urban Christian/Urban Books/ Kensington. She is also founder and host of the Write Away Weekend, an intensive writer’s residency. Connect with Sherryle’s Lit World at sherrylejackson.com.
Land of Promiscuity by Sherryle Kiser Jackson
Listen to a reading from Land of Promiscuity