In the past month, I’ve presented nine talks, in three states, been interviewed on six radio programs and one television show. I’ve put about 650 miles on the mini-van, traveling through the snow to speaking gigs and interviews. This is what happens in the month a book comes out—my focus tends to be on launching that book well. I’ve also been furiously working on another book, and two magazine articles. As a result, I have sometimes used this blog to update you on blog tours, events, and so on. My more reflective posts have been rarer this month.
I got a comment today that called me to task about this. As tempted as I was to not approve the comment, which began, “Keri in all honesty I think you should re name your blog,” I thought it might start an interesting discussion.
This dear reader accused me of using the blog simply to sell my books (even though you can’t buy the books anywhere on my website). (you can read her whole comment here). She signed her note “A sister in Christ,” and threw in a bible verse to boot.
Why do people think that they can be mean, as long as they paper it with Scripture and claims of sisterhood?
Here’s the deal: my blog is a way for me to keep in touch with readers. It is a place where I can share what I’m thinking about, and what God is up to in my life. It’s a place people who have not read my books to learn about them. And this month, my life has been about launching a book that I believe has an important message. But for those of you that agree with this reader, you can expect a return to the more contemplative topics very soon. I’ll take the grain of truth in her note, but I wish she could have found a kinder way to express her concerns.
Blogging and writing books puts you at risk for criticism, I know. But thankfully, the positive comments usually outnumber the harsh ones. Yesterday, for example, I got an e-mail from another person. She also began with “Can I be honest?” and ended with “You sis in Christ.”
Thankfully, this letter, from a pastor named Lisa, was the exact opposite of the blog comment. (although it didn’t seem that way when I read the first line)
“Keri, can I be honest? When I first read your works about a Sabbath day I thought you were crazy. How in the world do you have a true Sabbath day I thought? There’s so much to do and even after ministering on Sunday, I’d come home and do laundry because it needed to be done. But after an illness and hospital stay I’ve learned that running at warp speed all the time is not a good thing. Rest is mandatory. This has opened up a whole new way of living for me. I now choose to walk in the joy and peace He promised. And I’m learning how to rest. Yes laundry still needs to be done but I’m not neglecting my well-being and time alone with Him to do it!
“I discovered your book about a year and a half ago and am just now realizing and living a life of rest and peace. I fall sometimes but I’m adamant about this new way of being.
“I don’t think you’re crazy anymore!
Your sis in Christ,
Pastor Lisa A.”
Which of these readers do you agree with or relate to most? Let’s talk about it!
I love your blog.
I haven’t been commenting much lately (too busy!), but always feel encouraged or challenged (in a good way) by what I read here.
As an author, of course you’re going to include posts about your books — which I enjoy reading, by the way, but by no means is that all you talk about on your blog.
Thanks for keeping it real. 🙂
I think it’s totally fine to have a combination of both. If you’ve written a book, it’s cool to blog about it, as it’s a part of you. And you don’t come across as selling stuff at all. I’ve visited plenty of those sites. Rest in that.
BTW, you have my relevantblog on the sidebar as my blog for writers, but I actually have a different one for writers:
Hi Keri, I want to add my agreement that your message is important enough to share and this blog is a good place to discuss your life, including your writing and selling of your book.
Just having met you online, I find it interesting that one of my values (to rest on the Sabbath whenever possible) is something you’ve written about. I can’t wait to read it! I had my back go out at Christmas in 2007 because I never stopped to rest. So now, even though I parent eleven of my sixteen children full time, and the others by phone as needed, I still take a chill pill and try to just laze around on Sundays and be inspired to be the woman God called me to be.
Keep up the good work. I look forward to reading your books.
I have forwarded this post to a good friend of mine Pastor Deanna. Oh she could write volumes about people who have mean things to say and attempt to cloak it in scripture! She’s had her own share of blog drama to contend with!
Writing is what God has called you to do. It’s a part of who you are. I would expect to read about your writings on your blog. How can you separate the two? You are a writer and it encompasses a good part of your life and I’d expect to read about new projects. And if you’re giving away a free book in the process…thanks! LOL!
Know that he that began a GOOD work in you is certainly able to perform it.
Critics come with the territory.
How are you harming anyone?
Surfing the net is free.
The critic sacrificed one click to discover your blog.
I believe the negative comment tells me more about the commenter than it tells me about your blog. Clearly, this Sister in Christ…..has been duped one time too often…by someone other than you. We all have experienced things in our lives that creates our worldview…lenses by which we see the world. Her lenses must be a little clouded; for I do not see any overt self-serving going on here!
Keri, as a pastor’s wife, I have seen too many people and heard too many comments like that! I just discovered your website through TCW magazine and love the topics you’ve written about. God has really been speaking to me lately about listening and then I saw your book. I’m planning to buy it – sounds like exactly what I need! Thanks and God bless you!