I don’t know who said this: “Constant change is here to stay.” I first heard it many years ago at a pastor’s conference. It was shared by a seasoned pastor speaking to other pastors and, as I recall, he didn’t know who first coined the phrase, either.
I don’t even recall the topic he was speaking on. I just remembered that phrase, because it hit me as something eminently true. I suppose he offered the quote to comfort us about some big change he was announcing. It’s not surprising that I don’t remember the big announcement. Why should I? Whatever it was, it’s probably been changed many times since then.
Because constant change is here to stay.
If you like your present circumstances, don’t cling to them too tightly. They are going to change. If you don’t like your present circumstances, be of good cheer. They are going to change. Constant change is here to stay.
The reason this saying came to mind, I’m pretty sure, is because I’m going through a season of change…again. Largely because, the whole publishing world is going through a change. I’ve been talking about some of these changes in my last several posts here.
Back in November, after publishing a dozen novels the traditional way through two major publishing houses, I released my first indie-published novel (read, self-published). I had been thinking of doing this for some time. My decision was greatly helped when my publisher decided not to re-sign me (after being with them 6 years).
Thankfully, because I did see this coming I began setting aside some of my advance money to be ready for this change. That’s one of the things about being an indie: no more advances. You write the book, get it out there, people start buying it (you hope), then you get paid. One upside to this is that you get paid right away (well, every 30 days). But with the traditional route, money only came in about every 6 months.
Since everything was already going through an upheaval, I thought: why not increase the intensity? I decided to make my first indie novel, When Night Comes, a suspense novel. You’re not supposed to do that, write a novel outside of your “brand.” What’s my brand? All my other books have been compared to Nicholas Sparks (not known for writing suspense).
Well, that was 4 months ago. Has this change been a good thing? I’m saying yes. A few reviewers clearly preferred my other kind of books (to be expected). But the overwhelming majority of reviews have been extremely positive. Perhaps even more importantly, the sales have been strong and steady. This past week I passed the 5,000 books-sold-mark, and the income is on a track that, by year-end (Lord willing), I could make the same amount I used to receive in a typical advance.
It’s been encouraging enough for me to decide to stay in the game and continue writing as an indie. I’ve decided to flow with the changes rather than try and stop them. To that end, I’m getting ready to do something else I haven’t tried before as an author.
This week (or early next week), I hope to release my first non-fiction book, a 31-Day devotional called, Perfect Peace (in Imperfect Times). In it, I share all the lessons I have learned during these last several years, a season most definitely marked by constant change.
I’ve been told that devotionals don’t sell well. We’ll see. Maybe they don’t, and maybe this won’t. Then again, you aren’t supposed to write books outside your brand. Either way, I’m grateful for the freedom to be able to write this book, even if it only sells a handful of copies. It was a book I needed to write. I hope its lessons will encourage and strengthen believers wrestling with the uncertainties of life.
Because one thing is certain. Constant change is here to stay. And one other thing is certain–a more important thing: God is faithful; He loves us with undying love, and He’s well-able to work all of life’s changes together for good.