Hi! My name is Mandy Johnson and I live in Nashville with my husband, Kyle, and our adopted puppy, Dolly. I’ve been writing on my blog, Palms of Joy, for a year and a half and love encouraging women through writing.
My big, scary dream is to write books that encourage women in their faith in a kind, relatable way. Over the past few months, I’ve been researching publishers I’d love to submit my work to. Each publisher lists submission requirements such as: “only accepting non-fiction” or “must show professionally related credentials.” One specific, big-name publisher caught my eye, so I began to scroll down the long list of submission requirements. One of the first requirements stated was, “We only acquire authors with a comma-following.”
A comma-following? What? Is that 1,000 followers? 10,000? Somebody, please help.
After reading the rest of the publisher’s requirements, I thought to myself, “How am I ever going to earn a publishing deal if one of the most valued requirements is a massive social media following?”
I let one publisher - a person or group of people I don’t even know - dampen my spirit.
If you’re like me, you’ve experienced the positive aspects of social media: keeping up with friends, taking note of new fashion trends, following your favorite bands, and learning about new restaurants. There are countless benefits for businesses, brands, and artists to spread their unique message. On the other hand, social media can lead us into a dangerous comparison trap and/or feeling like we can’t measure up. If we’re being honest, social media can take a toll on our health and on our hearts.
Here’s what I’m learning: we determine how much agency we give social media over our lives.
I find so much freedom and relief in that truth. You and I get to determine whether or not we hand over the reigns of our happiness to an app.
For me, faith provides stability when I’m tempted to buy into the lie that tells me I need to continually strive for social media applause. Faith reminds me that being myself is enough. My dream to become an author is not dependent on whether or not I have a social media following. My dream to become an author is dependent upon my willingness to chase opportunities and believe in the Lord’s provision. The same is true for you - you are worthy, valuable, and lovely just as you are.
My challenge for you is to thoughtfully examine how much agency you’re giving social media over your life, and then intentionally take back the reigns if you’ve handed them over. I encourage you to remind yourself of your worth, especially when you feel tempted to strive for temporary social media applause. I don’t have all of the answers, but I have a feeling we all win when we choose to release the joy-stealing weight of comparison and insecurity. Be kind to yourself, and know that your worth, your potential, and your dreams are worth entirely more than a following.
FOLLOW MANDY HERE:
Blog - www.palmsofjoy.com
Instagram - @mandycjohnson