On 2/13, I blogged about my Leap of Faith. About two weeks later, I received a lovely letter from Krista Stroever concerning my recent submission. I was surprised she replied so quickly. She said I had outlined an exciting story, but the writing wasn’t strong enough for their line. Okay, what does that mean?
The mail had come while I was fixing lunch for the munchkins in my care. I blinked back tears and swallowed a rock-sized lump in my throat while trying to keep a happy face. Once I get the kids settled for their naps, I reread the letter again. And again. And again.
Strong writing. Strong writing. Strong writing. The words echoed through my head like a gong. Was I a bad writer? Would I be able to get published through another house? Was this the end of my writing career? Should I consider a different path?
I decided it was time to have a chat with God. After all, I prayed before I mailed out the manuscript, I prayed while I awaited an answer, I prayed as soon as I saw the package. Hmm, it didn’t seem as though God had time to answer my prayers. When I asked Him what was up with this, I didn’t hear a response.
I chatted with a few friends who gave me sage advice. I kept my chin up, swallowed the tears, and opened the manuscript document to start making the writing stronger. And drew a blank.
If I didn’t understand what she had meant, how was I supposed to fix it?
That afternoon, my daycare darlings awoke from their naps, recharged and ready to go. One of the toddlers clamored for milk. Even as I pulled the cup from the cupboard, the milk from the refrigerator, and poured the beverage, he continued to ask for milk. I got impatient with him and said something like “Would you please be patient? Can’t you see I’m getting it?”
I handed him the cup and while he quenched his thirst, I stood at the sink, staring out my kitchen window. I heard my words all over again and instead of being said with my impatient voice, I heard them being said with God’s calm tone. He was asking me to be patient about my writing. One rejection was nothing to get upset about. He reminded me that He hadn’t forgotten, nor had He ignored my prayers.
You see, God is awesome. He sees the whole picture while I saw a few paragraphs on a sheet of paper. He knew my manuscript wasn’t ready for publication yet. I hold tight to His promise in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
He’s getting to it. I just need to be patient.
Friend of Mine–you WILL get there! "There" might be different than you expect, but it will be God's "there." That's the only one that matters! I'm taking a lesson from you today–patient me is a better me! With myself. With those around me. With the work that I have to do–because it's not MY work that matters!
Isn't is something how children can bring out the answers to life's mysteries sometimes? Of course, other times, they're the mysteries. I often see myself as the child asking God for this and that, things that to me seem–and let's face it, they are–important to me. I need money, I need good employment, I need patience, I need a million-dollar book deal. Well, my son needs someone to kick the ball with, someone to read numbers with him, to teach him how to make words out of letters, to play the game.
Some seasoned writers would tell you not to worry about one rejection. Worry about 200. Maybe even 20. But you know what, the 20 and the 200 don't matter at all right now because they're not here and that one is. That is the one that is important right now, the one that needs hurdled. And that's the way we're made, more or less, able to conquer one thing at a time.
I'm not sure if I'm making any sense whatsoever, but I feel for your situation on many different levels.
I finally get back on line, somehow find my way to this site, and wow! What a reminder. I definitely needed to hear (read) this today. I know the whole process of getting published is a huge struggle with a lot of ups and downs. Personally, right now I'd settle for finishing a book. But one thing I have realized lately, especially in reading, is that I don't know what's best a lot of the time. That's why God's in control of this show.
I've found myself reading books from some of my favorite authors, especially their series characters that I think I know so well and have figured out. One day I found myself sitting there reading this book I'd been waiting to come out for months and I thought, "Well, this isn't going the way I thought it would. It would be better if he did it this way." But by the end of the book, I cried for a good thirty minutes. So what do I really know?
It may not always go the way we envision it, but there is a plan, and if we just go with it, we may realize God has bigger dreams for us than we could even imagine.
(Jewls aka Fishy)
Hang tight – God's going to do great things, even if it isn't clear exactly which things he's going to do…
(oh and apologies that I misplaced your blog address for a while – I know I'm a very bad virtual friend – but I will let you know my new "literary blog" address – http://librarianaria.wordpress.com )