Faith

The Courage of Generosity

A friend gave me a devotional by Patricia Raybon for Christmas. I’m not much of a devotional person, I’m more of a jump-to-my-own conclusions person haha. But this devotional has been a nice calm to the beginning of my day.

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The week on Generosity really hit me. Messages on finances really get to me, maybe because I’ve struggled in trusting  in the past, or because I had great faith in the past, or because I love giving especially when it seems like it’s the most foolish decision ever. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect in this area; in fact the moments of faith for this are few and far between. But I think this topic is especially pertinent to creatives, freelancers, and entrepreneurs who have no guarantee of regular income…yikes!

 

Despite my on-again off-again study of this topic, Raybon had a couple amazing points I hadn’t thought about that change my perspective on giving.

 

  1. Generosity is about courage more than about giving. It’s not about giving where it’s easy, it’s about trusting that you can continually give lavishly and have enough. No matter your income. She pointed out that all of nature survives off an endless cycle of giving…how beautiful!
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  3. Referencing John 3:16, Raybon noted that we should give as God gives. Did He only give to people He could trust with His gift? No. He gave His son to the “ungrateful, selfish, sinful, disappointing world.” I want to give like that, not constantly worrying about what a person would do with it, just giving with trust and hope. “When they’re at their worst, we can give our best.” Not taking into account whether the receiver will be responsible with the gift, but taking into account the need and having grace.

 

Here’s to growing in generosity, faith, courage, trust, and grace as God continues to work on my heart.

 

 

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for the Bookworms, for the Writers

The Problem with Free E-books

 Free E-books. It’s quite a wonderful concept that a debut author makes an e-book available for free in order to pique a reader’s interest and gain readership. At least that’s what I used to think. Then I read about 20 free e-books – some not-so-good and some quality. I still hated it.

The Problem

The author needs money for their work, I get that. The author needs to leave the reader hanging at the last sentence of the first book, so the reader feels the need to purchase the second. And so the story builds to the climax – and then ends. No grand finale. No resolution. Just the cliffhanger. The second book presumably leads to the conclusion the reader awaits. Think the style of “Inkspell” or “Catching Fire” ending abruptly in the climactic moment, then “Inkdeath” and “Mockingjay” respectively concluding the story. The difference here being that this free e-book is likely the first story read from that author. We as readers are still evaluating the author, on if he/she is trusted with our emotions and worthy of our time. And to suddenly be dropped at such a moment, I lose confidence. Because it’s one thing to write a great beginning and a great middle. The mark of a great author though, is a great resolution. So I’m wary to spend my money in hopes of a great resolution when I don’t know the author yet.

My Solution

And that’s my dilemma with free e-books. As a writer, I don’t want to do that to readers. But I also think that a free e-book is great marketing if I can convince readers to purchase that my writing is worth their money. In a hypothetical future, I could see myself potentially publishing a free e-book short story to lead into a purchasable novel. But asking a reader to invest in a full-length novel with no resolution is personally devastating. I also would consider the first book in a series, complete with a resolution, as a free e-book – and then including a sneak-peek into the second at the end that leaves the reader hanging. But I think there needs to be a resolution for the reader’s first introduction to an author.

What about “The Selection?”

The Selection This brings me to “The Selection.” I purchased “The Selection,” put down good money and trusted the publicity, readership, and – let’s face it – the cover, that this would be worth every penny. Then this book did not have a huge conclusion, other than knowing that the next round of the Selection was starting. Wasn’t even a free e-book and it left me hanging. Though I had yet to read a great resolution from this particular author, I was so hopeful that I purchased “The Elite” and “The One” together. Thankfully, I was not disappointed. Great job bringing it all together! I still wish there was a little more conclusion to the first, but in case you were wondering, it is totally worth the risk here. The political intrigue escalates, which is what I was really hoping for, that it would overpower the romance drama. And I go back and forth on who SHOULD end up with whom, as well as who WILL end up with whom. And the resolution is both satisfying and believable. So that’s my plug. Kudos, Kiera Cass.