Saturday, 2 December 2017

Are we nearly there yet?

Stop press! Today I discovered that someone I don't know recommended and linked to MY book on Metro Online, of all places!

It's a strange sensation when you come across a total stranger talking about your book.  It happened when I came across a single Amazon review last year, too: the realisation that my words have been out there, circulating, meeting people without me.  I feel awed and pleased for about 30 seconds, and then I think: I wonder if this means I have Arrived?

Do you ever ask yourself whether you've Arrived?  Perhaps you have an idea of when that will be.  I have several: I'll have Arrived when I get more than 50 reviews on Amazon.  When I get fan mail.  When I'm such a well-known writer that someone else asks me to write a foreword for their book.  When I have more than three people turn up for a book signing.

These are not really goals so much as they are daydreams.  Whatever happens, I suspect that the truth is that Arriving will always feel as if it's around the next corner, and that as a writer making an effort to trust God as the driving force, I should avoid spending the whole journey calling "Are we nearly there yet?" from the back seat.

On Sunday, we will begin the season of Advent: from the Latin ad (towards) venio (I come), Advent means the coming towards.  The arriving.  It's not our own arriving, but Christ's: God coming ever closer towards us until he becomes Emmanuel, God with us.

Since I wrote an Advent book, I spend quite a lot of Advent promoting and talking about it, but this year I'm also going to try to give up on the idea of Arriving, and use the season to remind myself that my writing, like everything else I do, is for Him.  I am never really going to arrive, but He knows that, and comes racing out of the house to meet me on the road so that wherever I go from then on, we arrive together and I can hang back a moment and let Him go in first.

Amy is a writer, performance storyteller and ventriloquist, and the publicity officer for ACW.  She has written three books about puppetry and storytelling, published by Kevin Mayhew, and provides scripts and materials for GenR8, a Cambridgeshire charity running Christian assemblies and events in schools.


  1. I'd love to ask someone like J K Rowling or Stephen King whether they think they've Arrived. I wonder what they'd say. Or is it true, as I suspect, that even the greats are never satisfied either! I once had a 'fan' called Deirdre back in the days when I wrote weekly for the Christian Herald. She wrote to me regularly. My teenage kids nearly wet themselves with laughter every time her letters arrived, highly amused that their mother had a 'fan', so ... no sense of Arrival there!!

  2. Thank you Amy for your thoughtful and humble reflections as usual. I, too, have one fan... An elderly gentleman who attends the Salvation Army Church, opposite ours. Whenever I write a 'Thought for the Week' for the local paper, he pops in to tell me how much he enjoyed it! Very sweet!

  3. I'm quite jealous of your single fans, Fran and Georgie! Thanks for commenting :)