The Ebb and Flow of Popularity By Precarious Yates

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As writers, we often have a new story cooking in our minds even as we’re writing the current book. And many indie authors feel the drive to produce. We were given the advice that the best marketing we can do is our next book. We’ve all heard about that author who wrote 25 books in one year.

“Being an author is like being a shark, you have to keep swimming or you die,” he says. “People don’t want to wait a year and a half for the next book in the series, they want instant gratification.”

Not all of us have the ability to write from 8am to midnight. Some of us are homeschool moms, some are doctors, some are lawyers, and some of us write as our creative outlet while we’re working a soul destroying job, trying our best to just keep the wolf from the door and our sanity at the same time.

Whatever your station in life while you write, whether you write full time and sell 5000 copies a month, or you write an hour a week trying to finish your second book and celebrate the sale of only 5 copies a month, there will be an ebb and flow of popularity. Most of us chase the flow of popularity. I know I do this often. What can I do next? What’s the newest marketing secret? How did this person become popular, and can I mimic that?

There was a young man in the bible who had popularity thrust upon him. He picked up his sling and five smooth stones, and running onto a battle field he slew a giant. All of Israel sang, “David has killed his tens of thousands…” His popularity stretched beyond the borders of his nation. But steep jealousy sent David into hiding. While in hiding, his popularity waned to the point where his countrymen almost forgot who he was.

Instead of feeling slighted, he held onto God’s promise. And he used that ebb of his popularity to compose some of the most amazing Psalms. Some of these he wrote while holed up in a cave (57) or while feigning madness (Psalm 34). These weren’t popular or glorious moments in his life, even when he had been anointed king and in essence was promised popularity, but they were moments that he dedicated to God.

Pastors are encouraged to take a sabbatical every three to seven years (depending on the denomination). Very few movie stars and rock/pop stars sustain worldwide popularity for more than five years without a season of ebbing, recollecting, and reevaluating their role in the spotlight. Those who try to hold on to their spotlight too long either burn out or their relationships deteriorate.

Some understand this secret and embrace the season of the ebb of popularity. It’s a wonderful time to press into personal relationships, a time to love and serve those who have supported your climb toward popularity. It’s a wonderful time to press into the Lord and learn what His next plan is for you. Some take this time of the ebb to serve the poor or spread the gospel, either in other countries or around the corner—and not for people to see, but because the call is there.

If you’re yearning for success and popularity in your writing career (and believe that God wants you to bear much fruit—it brings Him glory!), plan for the time where your popularity will wane. Don’t despise it, embrace it! God can do wonderful things during that season!

God bless you!

About the Author:

Precarious YatesPrecarious Yates has lived in 8 different states of the Union and 3 different countries, but currently lives in Texas with her husband, her daughter and their big dogs. When she’s not writing, she enjoys music, teaching, playing on jungle gyms, praying and reading. She holds a Masters in the art of making tea and coffee and a PhD in Slinky® disentangling.


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