REJECTION: WILL YOU CRUMBLE OR GROW?

Agents are amazing people. They hold our work, indeed it feels like our life, in their hands. With a few clicks on the keyboard, they can send us jumping out of our seats and leaping over buildings. Or they can set us at our deepest point of despair in the basement of our hearts. So many times I question my Savior. “Why God,” I ask, “did you make them so? They are on a pedestal I can’t reach. Will I ever be good enough in their eyes?”

As I sit in my chair, I hear the voice that speaks in its quietest form to my soul. “You do not write for them. They are only a tool I use to help you along. You write for me.”

I shudder at the sound of the Spirit.

He continues. “Accept their rejection as a time to grow and learn.”

“But they’ve discarded my work. So many hours, even years, I spent on it.”

“Grow and learn.”

My head shakes. “How can I? I’ve denied family and friends and time for this dream. And it has come to nothing.”

“Trust me. I have a plan for you.”

I want to say it’s too hard, I can’t go on.

“I will give you strength. I will guide you to the right one for you. Just keep writing. Keep working. You’re doing it for me.”

Tears wet my cheeks. I can’t give up the purpose I am called to do. I must move forward. “Yes, Spirit. Help me to keep going. Encourage me.”

“I will.”

That day will come when we get the email or call, but only if we yield to the Spirit to grow and learn and improve. We must do this work of writing with all our might. Continue the work in season and out of season to be worthy of the call. And, we must remember we’re doing this for our Savior.

CAN YOU SIT STILL AND WAIT?

This was the year. I was determined to go to a writers conference. And, if I was going to invest the money, I was going to be prepared. I perused every square inch of the website for the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. It didn’t take long for me to be overwhelmed by the amount of information and forms that needed to be filled out and reviewed. Who should I list on my appointment form for agents and editors? What classes should I take? What should my continuing session be? The list was sky-high.

It wasn’t long before my priorities fell into place. Let me stress the ‘me’ in that. I was going to meet agents and editors. Isn’t that the real reason everyone goes to these things? All the other stuff was just extra, or so I thought. I made my lists, researched agents and editors, picked out the perfect outfits.

What I didn’t realize was God had a bigger purpose, a higher meaning for me to grasp in this trip of discovery and making connections. The first night wasn’t about getting to those agents. The next morning didn’t bring me any closer to a real editor. What did happen? God used some amazing speakers and Marlene Bagnull to speak to my heart about the real issues of today. At first I wondered what they had to do with writing. I was practically writhing in my seat waiting to get to the appointment room. But then I stopped and listened. What did God have for me in these seemingly unconnected meetings?

It hit me. He wanted me to stop my plans and listen, to sit still and wait for His purpose, HIS PLAN.

Surprised, I sat bewildered in my seat. Without waiting on the Lord, my plans were empty. I’d get nowhere. None of my work would matter. It was in that moment I tuned out the noise of many around me and got alone with my Savior.

This is where the silence of waiting began, and then the prayers to
our eternal Father.

So when you get to you conference. Sit still and listen for His voice. Let Him direct you that your plans will align with His.

As God’s Word says in Jeremiah 29:11-12 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.

The Most Important Thing to Take to a Writers Conference

There’s a long list of all the supplies, proposals, and papers to bring with you to a writers conference. With American Christian Fiction Writers’ conference just around the corner, lots of writers are heading to meet agents and editors. The demand is high to nail your pitch and write the proposal of the century. But one thing you may not be thinking of is your promises from the year before. Did you tell a faculty member or an agent you’d work on a specific goal at your last conference? Well guess what? They remember these things. My search in the Bible produced Paul’s statement in Corinthians:

II Cor. 8:10-11 And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago. Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a perfomance also out of that which ye have.

So have you started a new manuscript, worked on your social media, or promised to improve your self-editing skills then fallen prey to doubts or busyness of life? I’m guilty of it myself. When I wrote my first post this week, I looked back at the one I’d created before. Guess what? The last one was written a year ago to the day. Oops.

Let me encourage you to get back to work. There’s only about five weeks until the ACFW Conference. Return to the previous year’s goals so you’re ready when you get to the conference to say, “This is what I’ve done…”

The most important thing you’ll bring with you is tangible progress.

Writer of Killer Romance and Encourager to Fellow Christians