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A Different Approach

by Dani Pettrey

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12

God’s Word is replete with wisdom and this verse is no exception. As writers we have the privilege of coming into contact with a vast number of people and I’d like to encourage you to make the most of those opportunities-not to further your career, not to sell more books, but to genuinely treat others as you would like to be treated. In an age where ‘networking’ is the buzz word I fear that many of us, myself included, can fall into the trap of approaching relationships with the attitude of ‘what can I get out of this’ rather than ‘how can I share Christ’s love with others.’

One of my favorite quotes is by Eric Liddell. I keep it posted on my writing desk as a constant reminder of the privilege we have as children of Christ:

“We are all missionaries. Wherever we go we either bring people nearer to Christ or we repel them from Christ.”

How true this is. I wonder if we kept this constantly in mind if we would approach relationships differently, if we would approach strangers differently.

As writers, there are three main groups of people we will come in contact with:

1. Fellow writers: I fear sometimes that these relationships are the ones we are most tempted to take advantage of. It’s wonderful to connect with others and social media allows us the amazing ability to network with a vast number of fellow authors, but I want to challenge you and myself to approach these connections with the goal of friendship in mind, not simply seeking to add to our numbers. The hope is to connect with them and to build relationships where we can mutually support and encourage one another.

2. Readers: Ami McConnell, editor at Thomas Nelson, presented a workshop at ACFW entitled Do You Love Your Readers? The focus of the workshop was to encourage authors to write out of a genuine and Christ-like love for readers.

3. Publishers, editors, agents, and marketing teams, oh my!
Our agents, editors, and marketing, sales, and design teams work extremely hard to help bring our stories to readers because they believe in our words and in the story we have to tell. Without them, our stories would not be shared. Take time to let them know you genuinely appreciate their hard work. Send them a thank you note. Keep them in your prayers.

Fellow author Brenda Minton has a saying that I adore. Because kindness costs so little. Spreading kindness and love is free yet worth more than we can ever imagine.

Dani Pettrey feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves: the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of one’s faith and plenty of romance. Her debut novel, Submerged, will be a May 2012 release from Bethany House.

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3 Responses to A Different Approach

  1. What a great challenge.. “I want to challenge you and myself to approach these connections with the goal of friendship in mind, not simply seeking to add to our numbers.” It’s so easy, in the social media world, to approach relationships from a “what’s in if for me” perspective. This is a great reminder!
    ~Kristin

  2. Cathy Gohlke says:

    This IS a great reminder, Dani–thank you! I’m writing out the Eric Liddell quote you referenced and will keep it at hand. God bless!

  3. Dani Pettrey says:

    Thanks Kristin and Cathy! It’s something I hope to remind myself of daily. We’re all in this together for God’s glory.