Wanna Be Published? Feeling Discouraged?

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 Once I had an offer for a multiple book contract … and then the publisher changed direction and the offer was retracted a few weeks late.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The thing that helped me when I was unpublished is the same thing that helps me now: relinquishment and faith in what I cannot see.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!

Just remember:
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.

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  1. Thank you for this post. I find myself getting discouraged as well; and I am only in the beginning stages of my hopeful “writing career.” I know God has given me this dream for a reason and I am glad to hear someone other than myself say that.

  2. Thank you for the encouragement!

  3. Appreciate your sharing your struggles and victories ! Thanks and many blessings to you and your family.

  4. I wrote my first book “The Bible is No Fairy Tale!” This is an apologetic book to prove the Bible is God’s infallible, inspired Word. The book is published and on the major websites, but I am an unknown author and my publisher is not one of the large ones. I’m trying me best and prayer that God does the rest. Thanks for this wonderful post.

    Do you also have any practical advice for helping publicize my book?

    God bless,

    John Hellen a/k/a godsarrow

  5. Just what I needed to hear. Sometimes, even though I believe it, I can’t see it. Then someone like you comes along and lays it right out there. Thank You, Tricia.

    Have a very Merry Christmas!

    Warmest Wishes,

  6. Super encouraging! Thanks. :O)

  7. Thank you so much for giving us encouragement!

  8. {{{hug}}}

  9. Thanks for posting that beautiful encouaging message! I’m not yet published but so believe God has given me this gift and dream so he’ll be making it happen – I just have to do the writing work.

  10. Thank you, Tricia.

  11. I’m so glad that I encouraged you today! Keep writing and don’t give up. God has good plans for you!

  12. Somehow you found me on Twitter and I was just checking out your site. Thanks for this article. I would love to write someday but wouldn’t even know how to start. But, your message is a great message no matter what dream God has put on someone’s heart. Let go, Let God, Enjoy the Ride. Blessings …

  13. tears. thank you. you’ve encouraged me in the past. my problem is that i get discouraged before i even start. of course i believe you have to have talent to be published…i do believe i have some unrefined talent, but i don’t know if i have the perseverance it takes to do “something” with my God given abilities.

    I get discouraged because I feel it’s all been written about. I get discouraged because who am I to write about these subjects when I am not an expert on anything…I struggle balancing life with my 4 kids…surely folks aren’t going to come to me for answers:) and time…wow, where is it? i have the dream of writing and speaking…not nationally..just at MOPS groups, ect. but I still have not discerned wether God wants me to pursue it or if it’s just something I think would be cool. sorry…i tend to ramble…another unrefined writing skill:)

  14. Good day! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if hat would
    be okay. I’m undoubtedly enjoying your blog
    and look forward to new posts.

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