Updated: Sep 6, 2022
Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—those he redeemed from the hand of the foe… (Psalm 107:2 NIV)
Several people have asked me recently, “How’s the writing going?” It’s a totally reasonable question, but I feel unnecessarily embarrassed answering it, because I haven’t had as much success as I would like. It’s now been almost three years since I quit my job to write full time, and I expected I’d at least have a book contract by now. (Many authors would laugh kindly at that expectation.)
In publishing, there’s only so much I can control. Namely, I can control how good my book is and how many people I submit it to. Beyond that, whether I find an agent or land a book contract has as much to do with luck as anything (though naturally, luck favors the prepared). Stressing over what I can’t control definitely won’t help.
My counselor reminded me that I can take joy in what I have finished: I’ve written and revised and re-revised one book and written a second (which I’m in the process of revising). I need to accept that I’m doing the right things to grow my skills, but it simply takes time. Persistence will serve me well; as one of my favorite authors has said, “The ones who succeed aren’t necessarily the best, but the best of those who didn’t give up.”
One thing that helps me keep going is remembering why I write. Sure, I enjoy the process, but it can also be frustrating. The deeper reason I write is to tell my story. Fiction can open people’s hearts to truths that they couldn’t understand or couldn’t accept otherwise. Stories can evoke true feelings in a reader’s heart without being preachy.
God’s divine plan is too big to be contained in one book (the Bible alone has 66 of them!). But I believe all great stories are a mirror of his Great Story. I write about the beauty of accepting people as they are (Romans 5:8), the confidence of knowing our true identity (Romans 8:37, 1 John 3:1), the price and power of forgiveness (Hebrews 9:22, Luke 7:47), and the incomparable glory of sacrificial love (John 15:13).
I hope that my readers come away from my stories having experienced God’s love, whether they realize it or not. And that keeps me going.