Saturday, April 14, 2007

Never Give Up

Through faith and patience we inherit the promises of God. (Heb. 6:12)

This week a friend emailed me that her husband just got a publishing contract. He writes science fiction and fantasy in the secular market. As a retired pilot, he hasn't been writing for very long. This is only his second book. While I typed back congratulations, I tried to ignore the sting in my heart. A slight depression assailed me and all I could do was ask God to help me. And he will. He always does.

Why do we care to be published? Is it enough to write only for God if no one beyond family and critique partners see our manuscripts? There is no right or wrong answer to this. It depends on how we view our situations. I would write storybook journals to God if I were only writing for him. I have a desire for my writing to touch lives, mend hearts, make a difference, and to change lives. The only way I can do this is to write by the Holy Spirit. I can't rush it. I can't snap my fingers and make it happen. I can only keep writing, keep submitting, and never give up. God will be the one to make it happen when he feels the time is right.

If you are a writer, keep writing with faith. If you are a reader, write to the authors whose books you enjoy. They need to hear from you on occasion. Writing is a lonely life and sometimes we need to hear something good besides:

"While your writing has merit, it isn't the right flavor we're looking for."

"You are a talented writer, but I just didn't feel this story has the impact it needs to make it in the market right now."

"The writing is good, the story executed well, but it just isn't for me. If you write anything else, I'd be happy to take a look."

"While the storyline is compelling, there just isn't enough of the faith element."

"The faith element seems to overshadow the romance. If you revise it, I'd take another look."

Any of these comments sound familiar? I have over 115 rejections to my secular work. Now I've been writing Christian fiction for one year and I have a couple of rejections to add to my list. Some comments contradict each other. That's okay. It wasn't meant to be. It doesn't mean I'll never get published. It simply shows my share of struggles while God built patience, persistence, and faith in me. I have a lot to offer in a writing workshop. I can identify with a number of aspiring writers. God will use me as an author to speak and inspire others, and my writing to reach others as long as I don't give up and I'm willing.

He'll use you too in whatever you do. Never give up.

6 comments:

  1. Jenn,
    Thank you.

    I haven't written anything new in a couple of weeks, maybe longer if I'm really honest here. Everything I've written has been a copy of something I'd already written. It's been a week since I've written at all.

    Here you are at a different crossroads. I can't imagine how hard it was to post about being so close to your dream - have your manuscript in an editor or agents hands, only to have it slip through again.

    I can feel your pain and understand that green feeling you get when someone else gets something you want. And I applaud you and think it's pretty awesome you can take those negative feelings and turn into a positive and encourage all of us who have reached your crossroads and are still looking ahead.

    Thank you ~ and don't you give up either.

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  2. Jenn,
    What an awesome testimony. We have to write on faith. That's the only way to keep going. God rewards those who are faithful. How, only He determines, but we have an excellent example in Him----the ever faithful.
    Thank you for sharing your heart. It means a lot to me and I'm sure many others.

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  3. Thanks, Ladies. I should probably add that most of those rejections were from agents. The good news is those manuscripts were never meant to be published. God has me writing in the right genre now.

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  4. Thanks for holding a mirror to my soul and writing what you found there. I persevere, but I doubt, I sting. I pray; I just wish Jesus would send me an email with a subject header that states; Here's what I want you to write.(!)

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  5. I'm right there with you all:-) I'm so grateful that other authors make this a not so lonely life. The comraderie is amazing among authors. I also agree, never give up. I heard someone say this weekend that he actually cut the word "quit" out of his dictionary. Not a bad idea since actions speak louder than words, right?

    I've only received 2 rejections so far. But I feel both were well done. Meaning, those that did the rejecting were uplifting and helpful rather than cutting and discouraging. I felt like I could work on the book, learn some more, and resubmit. Because..."your work has merit..." and I believe it too.

    Angie

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  6. I, too, started writing sweet romance books in the secular market(all were unpublished). When I discovered an inspirational market did indeed exist, and I read some of the stories, I felt that mine would be a good fit. I write because I have to. After having three commercially published novels, the urge for publication does NOT go away, but remains just as strong. Rejections do NOT go away, I still receive them. But I'd like to make a living serving Him, writing stories from my heart, if He sees fit to make it happen!

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