Beliefnet
Everyday Spirituality

I’ve heard it said that religion and an afterlife were invented to control human beings. Maybe, maybe not. Religious threats of a horrible afterlife if you don’t have good behavior here on earth,  don’t work consistently. And life experience teaches otherwise. After Mom and Dad died, I still felt their presence. Religion and an afterlife were accepted by me as part of an ongoing reality in consciousness.

Maya Angelou wrote:

“A great soul serves everyone all the time

A great soul never dies.

It brings us together

Again and again.”

 

Proverbs 16:17

The highway of the upright turns aside from evil; whoever guards his way preserves his life.

Author-platforms are designed to sell books. Standard platform strategies emphasize a strong presence on the internet. Websites and blogs are created to generate interest in authors writing. Videos are made and uploaded. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social domains are joined and kept lively. E-mail lists are collected, and blasts are sent out.

Author-platforms also urge writers to schedule book signings and public appearances.

As an author who has self-published several books, I’ve followed through on these platform strategies.

Along with a few book signings and public appearances, in 2006, I developed a website and blog. I began making and uploading videos. I also joined social media. But after a few years, I backed-off working online. Why?

The numbers. The numbers changed from fewer authors online to many authors. Since 2006, the numbers of new book titles, websites, videos, and blogs continues to multiply nearly exponentially, crafting an image of fierce competition on the internet for reader attention.

Basically, selling books online was becoming mega-time-consuming due to the numbers.

As of August 2018, Worldometers.info  claims 1,487,538 new book titles have been published this year. There are more than 644 million websites on the internet. To date, user-friendly and free WordPress alone, handles more than 75 million websites and blogs.

Curiously, the numbers inspired me, not to give up, not to try to beat the other authors, but to cooperate.

By lessening my time spent on the internet, I was able to amp-up time spent joining a growing synergy of interaction in the public.

Because I’m not a well-known name, I had to look beyond book signings and speaking.

I began meeting other authors to discuss better writing. I read and appreciate the writings of other authors. I practice better communication with authors and readers alike. How?

Last year, I started vending my books at community festivals and expos.

Festivals and shows are happening all the time. We human beings love to celebrate: the seasons, anniversaries, holidays, baseball, kite flying, food, buying local. We love to share: products, values, and ideas.

Vending supports face-to-face conversations, which satisfy the human desire to connect and understand one another. Trust is strengthened.

A study reported in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology that face-to-face interaction removes suspicion.

Not to be forgotten is the author-platform strategy of attending conferences such as Writing For Your Life. At these gatherings it’s supremely obvious that I’m not alone. Authors write because it feels right. We use writing as a means to clarify and express life lessons, to encourage others, and to heal.

Writing helps us know who we are. We are spirited, resilient, creative, interested, and interesting. Sure, it’s nice to sell a few books in the meantime, and I think, expanded face-to-face activities strengthens the prospects.

 

Bio: Cheryl Petersen lives in Warwick, New York. Her books are, I Am My Father-Mother’s Daughter, from science & religion to God, and, 21st Century Science and Health: A revision of Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health.

We were at a community festival. With a few minutes of free time. Spontaneity hit and we started yammering.

“I’ve lost a lot of friends the past few years,” he soon said, matter-of-factly.

I nodded. And, our conversation about politics and religion ended in agreement.

Did we agree that politics and religion are divisive? Sure, right along with aging, sex preferences, and brain waves. Friends come and go. Mostly go, after the age of 25 years, according to a study from Oxford University’s Department of Experimental Psychology and the Aalto University School of Science in Finland.

Experts don’t know whether the human brain shapes our social environment or if the environment shapes our brains, but a 2018 experiment shows parallel neural activity between friends, suggesting “that friends are exceptionally similar to one another in terms of how they perceive, interpret, and react to the world around them.”

What can I do with this information? Spectate. Debate. Or, discover.

“Every stumble, every loss, every disappointment, every tinge of pain can be used to break through the barriers of the problem and discover what belongs to wisdom and Love.”—from science & religion to God