The Pushmi-Pullyu of Publishing

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by Beth K. Vogt

I had a perfect publishing analogy for today’s blog, using the pushmi-pullyu from The Story of Dr. Doolittle. Imagine my distress when the analogy didn’t work … well, at least not in the way I had planned.

The fictional pushmi-pullyu created by author Hugh Lofting has no tail, but with a head at each end, no matter which way you come toward it, the pushmi-pullyu is always looking at you.

I envisioned the pushmi-pullyu as a beast burdened by never-ending frustration, fighting against itself as one end wants to go one way and the other wants to go – where else? – the opposite way.

A quick read of the chapter “The Rarest Animal of All” debunks that idea. The pushmi-pullyu knows how to get along with, well, both ends of itself. One head stays awake while the other sleeps. One eats while the other talks because pushmi-pullyus are very polite.

How could I use the pushmi-pullyu in a blog about the discordant push-pull between trusting God with my writing career and relying on my efforts to successfully launch my newest novel, Somebody Like You?

I couldn’t … or could I?

Some days I feel as if I’m playing tug of war with God. Puny little me is hanging onto one end of my writing aspirations and oh-so-mighty God has hold of the other end. I’ve got my way of doing things – pull, pull, pull – and God has his way – pull, pull, pull. I’m focused on my never-ending “Launch Your Book Well” To Do list: guest blogs, tweets, and giveaways. And in the midst of everything, I’ve lost track of what God wants me to do: put him first, rest in him, pray.

I thought I didn’t want to be a publishing pushmi-pullyu … but I was wrong. Both ends of a pushmi-pullyu work in harmony with one another. Think about it: if one end is pulling and one end is pushing, they’re going in the same direction, not resisting one another. (With thanks to my insightful daughter, Amy, for pointing this out!)

My To Do list doesn’t have to exclude God. Scripture says God gives us the desires of our hearts. (Psalm 37:4) So this dream-come-true I have of writing books? It’s God-given – from the day I started dreaming it all the way to today as I launch novel #3.

ColoradoCasualBeth2012Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best is often behind the doors marked “Never.” Beth’s first contemporary romance novella, You Made Me Love You, released in March. Her third novel, Somebody Like You – Can a young widow fall in love with her husband’s reflection? – released this month.

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