Publishing can be so hard at times. I remember YEARS of coming “this close” to having a book published. I had projects go to committee but not get picked up. Once I had an offer for a multiple book contract … and then the publisher changed direction and the offer was retracted a few weeks late. More than once I felt ready to give up.
Even though I’m multi-published there are always things to get discouraged about … sales numbers that aren’t what we hoped (even if they’re good we can also long for more) … rejection (I still have projects I love that haven’t found a home) … the need for more hours in the day … and overall weariness that comes from the hard work of sitting at the desk and writing (eye strain, back aches, etc).
The thing that helped me when I was unpublished is the same thing that helps me now: relinquishment and faith in what I cannot see.
I remember after one very hard rejection on July 16, 1998 (the day before my 27th birthday!) After hearing that a project went to committee but wasn’t accepted, I remember crying most of the day. And then I remember coming to the end of myself, getting on my knees at the end of my bed, and opening my hands to God asking him to take all of it. All my dreams, all my desires, all my tears, all my comparisons with others–everything.
I can’t say I haven’t been discouraged after that, but it helped so much to know that God was holding it all in His capable hands and he would take care of it all. I continued being diligent and doing “the one thing” He asked me to do next. And the truth is that I was surprised by what He led me to: homeschooling my kids, caring for my dying Grandfather, and launching a Crisis Pregnancy Center. He gave me small writing projects during that time, too, but my “big break” didn’t come until 2001 when I got a contract for From Dust and Ashes–my first novel. After that the flood gates opened and I’m finishing my 24th book (due Monday). It is exceedingly more than I ever hoped for or imagined!
God placed those dreams in your heart and He has a good plan for them.
God loves you more than you can imagine.
God sees YOUR stories finished and on the shelf. He knows when that good and proper time is.
Sometimes the good work God is asking us to do isn’t about writing. When I looked to see where God wanted me to join Him in my world/community I was shocked by where He led me … but I discovered that He knew my heart and knew how I would enjoy those things, too. He knew the lives that would be reached in those places.
When I take care of God’s work (the people and ministries He leads me to), He takes care of my work (the words on the page).
Finally, everything works together for good. The writing skills God gave me impacted and helped my work with crisis pregnancies, teen moms, families, etc. And the work with crisis pregnancies, teen moms, families, etc. has impacted my writing in huge ways. I’m a different person and writer because of those things.
All that to say, don’t give up! His dreams are there for a purpose … and maybe there are other, different dreams that He’s eager to explore with you too. Don’t be afraid of the first step … because Jesus has all the other 999 steps taken care of for you.