My Internet Rule #2: IRL

By Posted in - General on March 25th, 2013 23 Comments

So maybe this is a post for me, far more than it’s a post for anyone else.

Bread & Wine will be released two weeks from today-ish (You’d think an author would know a few more details about these things, but that’s not the case. Amazon decides to ship, and I know it’s happening when I get a text from a friend that says, “OMG: your book just arrived at my house!” Or at least that’s how it happened last time around.)

In any case, we’re close, and it’s time for me to remind myself about my Internet Rule #2: IRL. (Here’s my Internet Rule #1)

IRL=IN REAL LIFE. Real life matters more than the internet.

This is not the kind of thing you’re supposed to write about right before a book comes out. We’ve done all the things we’re supposed to do—fancy new headshots, beautiful new videos, sparkly new website, the wheels of marketing and publicity whirring and filling up my inbox with articles to write, trips to take, people to talk with.

I know what I’m supposed to say right now: what I’m supposed to say is, “Yes! Yes, I’ll do anything you want!” I’ll guest post on your blog, comment on yours, reply to your email within an hour of it hitting my inbox so that I seem “friendly and relatable to readers.”

I am, actually, friendly and relatable, I think, but I can’t always live up to the internet’s expectations for what friendly and relatable looks like. Something’s going to have to give these next few weeks.

So this is what’s going to happen: I’m going to trust you. Instead of driving myself crazy and parking myself in front of my laptop to control, control, control what is utterly outside my control—namely, whether or not you like this book–I’m going to trust that you will see my heart and my love and my gratitude and my excitement about it even if I’m not online 27 hours a day trolling the internet for ways to tell you that I’m here and I wrote a book.

I’m going to trust that you have what you need from me, the best thing that I can give to you—namely, a book that I’ve put so much love and soul into. That’s what I can offer to you. That’s what I’m thrilled to offer to you.

I know plenty of people who give the very best of themselves to what they’re putting on the internet, and their church or their town or their friends or their family gets the scraps. Listen: I’m a pastor’s kid. I know that there is never enough time, never enough energy, never enough of everything to go around.

And I also know that there’s only one way I’m going to make the math work in my life: IRL above all else.

The people who know me IRL will get the best of me.  And if something has to give sometimes, if I can’t be present and available every second to the great powerful vortex that is the internet, that’s going to have to be okay.

You can trust that I’m reading board books to Mac or sounding out Spiderman books with Henry. You can trust that I’m with my husband or with my friends, people who know me well and keep me sane in what can feel like a little bit of a swirling season. When things get crazy, I’ve learned along the way to dig even more deeply into IRL.

This is the thing: the best of me is not my writing, not in my books, and not on my blog. The best of me is what I give to my husband, our boys, our families, our dear friends. And in a season that sometimes feels stretched to breaking, I won’t allow them to suffer. My first priority is and will always be IRL.

(23) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Laura W. - Reply

    March 25, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Beautiful.

    True.

    We all need to hear this.

    THANK YOU.

  • Bonnie Greene - Reply

    March 25, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    Bravo! Thank you for always being a great example of authenticity.

  • Gretchen - Reply

    March 25, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Bravo!! I’m a mother to 4 pastor’s kids and thoroughly appreciate your take on what really matters! It’s a difficult line to walk isn’t it?! Enjoy these exciting weeks as your book releases! Blessings~

  • Cathy - Reply

    March 25, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Truth; Love and Prayers to you and your family!

  • Sher - Reply

    March 25, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Thank you for confirming for those of us who needed a pep talk of the importance of IRL priorities.

    Having my first B&W dinner party in a couple of weeks and can’t wait to blog about it!

  • Michelle DeRusha - Reply

    March 25, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    This is some seriously awesome advice for all of us, published writers or not. Thank YOU. {kinda wish we were IRL friends, but I’ll take what I can get!}

  • Melanie - Reply

    March 25, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Yes. Love this. These are the things that matter and you said it so well.

  • Katie Blackburn - Reply

    March 25, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    Absolutely loved this. Makes me love and respect your writing even more knowing that “writer” is not before “wife, mom and friend” on your priority list. A lesson for us all here, thank you so much!

  • Lucille Zimmerman - Reply

    March 25, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    You have made the better choice.
    Good for you.

  • Shannon - Reply

    March 25, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    Wow. Such an encouragement to a fellow writer. Thanks for the reminder that IRL does matter more than the words I put on a page at the end of the day.

  • lorzel waltner - Reply

    March 26, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Praises precious one,,praises for the way in which you honor our Lord with the gifts He has given you, praises for the way in which you tend, love and nurture the very blessings He has so richly poured upon you…Marinate in your moments given, as you are wise to know they far too quickly sneak by…

  • Lisa Carlson - Reply

    March 26, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Congratulations – and enjoy!!

  • Kelli - Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 2:34 am

    YES! It’s why your books do well, you are asked to speak etc…the IRL girl rules over the writer girl. You go.

  • Christine Trevino - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 12:24 am

    Yes yes yes. There is so much truth in this. IRL is what matters. Thank you for reminding me :).

  • Hayley - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 2:36 am

    Love this.

    You know what I also love? That you are a boy mom through-and-through. Sounding out Spiderman?? Living the dream, right there.

  • Kelly Guinaugh - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    IRL, I know you said you may have written this post mostly for yourself, however, I feel like it was written for me. Thank you! Love your writing and the honesty that you share. Happy Easter!

  • Susie Davis - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    This is such an amen.

  • Rachel - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    AMEN, sister. Thank you.

  • Alexandra Kuykendall - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 5:44 am

    Okay, why am I reading this? Because I’m trolling the internet freaking out about a book that is coming out in a few weeks (that is according to Amazon’s presale ship date, I’m so relieved to say you are making release date guesses based on what amazon tells you.) Thank you for this. Thank you. Thank you. I just have to figure out how to shut the computer. Turn away from the phone. And give my family the attention they deserve. You are right, sitting here at the computer gives me a false sense of control. There is a better way. Thanks for the push in the right direction.

  • Shannon Huffman Polson - Reply

    April 2, 2013 at 5:12 am

    Thank you for this. As someone publishing her first book (same day as your next!) the internet feels more than oppressive. And I know that no matter how important it feels, it isn’t as important as two beautiful little boys wanting to play or nurse or a husband coming home after a long day. Such grounding words. Happy launch!

  • Morgan - Reply

    April 6, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    LOVE this! I’ve been thinking along the same lines lately as I prepare to speak to a MOPS group soon and challenge myself and those listening to find their identity in Christ–not in their handmade business, blog, photography business, etc. Such a trap for us to get sucked into and escape in the virtual world that we forget to live in the real world. Thank you for these words. Can’t wait to get your book!

  • tara - Reply

    April 18, 2013 at 6:18 am

    IRL matters….yes it does.
    this post was for all of us. i promise.

  • Patsy B - Reply

    April 18, 2013 at 11:13 am

    This post is indeed for all of us!! REAL LIFE MATTERS!!!!!!! Thank you for helping us remember to tune in to the real and to help our loved ones do the same!!!

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