Wednesday, June 16, 2010


What does FOMO mean?

I'll give you a hint, it's something that a majority of people feel at some point in their lives -- if not every day. In fact, it's quite a basic, natural feeling for us.

It means "Fear Of Missing Out".

Since the beginning of time, people have had this same fear. It's not a new feeling. Although nowadays, we add a new twist to it: facebook, twitter, and blogging. Our main objective: accruing followers on twitter, gathering friends on facebook, collecting readers for our blogs, etc.

I read a recent review of the book "The Shallows" by Nicholas Carr. The reviewer, Fritz Nelson, explained that FOMO is also "mixed up with anxiety about social standing. We don't want to become invisible, Carr says, so we keep sending messages. It has become a way of life."

Somehow these social networks give us a sense of self-worth, because, if we have followers and facebook friends, then we have self-worth. But it doesn't end there. We must also be active on these social networks... lest people "forget" about us.

But why is our fear of missing out so wrapped up in facebook, twitter and blogging, when our relationships online are rather flat? Back in the day, before phones or internet, people had to actually meet up with their friends in person -- that, and writing snail mail, were the only ways to stay connected with one another.

Since when is sending a quick message to a friend on facebook the same as truly maintaining a relationship with someone? Fritz quotes playwright Richard Foreman: "We risk turning into 'pancake people' -- spread wide and thin." We have 800 friends on facebook, but how many of them do we actually keep in touch with? And even then, is a quick message on someone's facebook wall the same as grabbing coffee with a friend and spending hours encouraging one another?

The review was a bit startling to me, because I often fall into this, if I were to be completely honest. It's an easy fix to message someone: "Just wanted to check in and say hi! I've been thinking about you recently, and wanted to see how you were doing." You feel good about yourself for having reached out and initiated contact. And then, maybe, you'll get a message back with a brief synopsis of that friend's life.

Again, wide and thin.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

In Him we live, move, and have our being.

I'm preparing for the arduous journey toward publication. I have nearly *finished* my first book (I say *finished* because, as any writer knows, there is no such thing as being finished. I think I am on version 398 of my book, with more to come).

The Pursuer takes place in England, 1816, and has been years in the making. I am half excited to be so far along, and half petrified that the pursuit of publication is just around the corner (whoa, alliteration!). I've heard horror stories of people writing 17 novels before ever getting published--although maybe that's not a horror story at all. At least they were published. I can only pray that I am so blessed.

I plan on using this blog for many purposes, mainly to post news about writing and my book. But sprinkled throughout, I'll probably share what God is teaching me. Right now, I am learning about trusting in Him -- even BEFORE I start looking for a publisher.

I've had moments of panic already. I've spent so much time pouring into my book, what if it never gets published? And then I think of all the people who would know about my failure, my lack of success--how humiliating. On top of that, Regan and Seth's story would never be told, which saddens me because I think (of course) that it is a wonderful story.

...And then I am reminded that I am not writing for myself. Or even for others' enjoyment. I am writing for the pleasure of the King. I am using the gifts He has given me, and I am cultivating them. Whether or not I ever become a published author does not matter.

"Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of God." Galations 1:10.

I pray that God does use me to share the message of His love and mercy through the stories in my books. I want to be like clay in His hands, molded into a place where I can be a vessel for His light. So many books that I've read have empowered me, inspired me, and transformed my heart to be more like His. I only pray that God uses me to reach others with His love. How humbling to be used by God.

Katie Vogel Media

Katie Vogel Media