I missed the panel discussion among authors and publishers on the writers retreat at Laity Lodge. But I did find a snatch of time to ask Lauren Winner my question.

“What is the best piece of advice you could give a writer about publishing,” I ask her standing in the breezeway after lunch on our last day. She looks down at the sidewalk in her silver horn-rims, neck bent over a clergy collar and black dress. Standing in her birkish sandals with unshaven legs, she looks up with a generous smile and responds, “Publishing isn’t going to change your life as much as you think it is. You’re still you, whether you publish or not.” Then she glances toward the Frio.

That wasn’t the answer I was expecting.

After some prodding, she admits that she does receive more open doors for speaking and meeting people, and yes people do recognize her more often since becoming an author. But publishing isn’t a magic pill for happiness.  You still live with the same person that you are, regardless of the authoring credentials.

And the gavel hits the sidewalk with a final thud.

Then I realize, her wisdom, it really is the best answer.

Because it’s abiding in Jesus that determines our fulfillment, not a book deal.

The need for recognition is an insatiable beast with a constant growling stomach. No matter how many shares, re-tweets, signed book proposals and pleasant comments we swallow, the appetite returns like pouring water on a sandy beach.

While I sit in my office in my pj’s until noon, checking Facebook updates, reading blogs and sharing what I find on Twitter, I ask God to help me let go of the desire for recognition from anyone but Him.

And I realize that I haven’t filled my bird feeders since we got back from vacation. In August.

The birds flit full on the branches every day since.

A few posts I enjoyed reading this week on the theme of Letting Go:

Mary struggles with unanswered questions about her daughter’s sickness after she returns from Haiti: “Then that helpless feeling that I had come to the end of myself. The rope that once felt strong, withered in my hands and I let go.” They need our prayers.

Ro faces her fears and joins Facebook, “From this one step…I could breath more easily…I felt an element of freedom.”

Amber on how and where we let go of the chains that keep us captive, “Undoing chains means calling things what they are. It means that we pour out and also that we’re honest when we’re running dry.”


This is #19 in the series 31 Days of Letting Go. You can read the collective here. If you are a writer, I invite you to link up any post you’ve written on the theme of letting go in the comments today. Subscribe to receive the series in your inbox or feed by adding your address in the side bar under Follow Redemptions Beauty.