I am writing this post in the hope that it will encourage anyone who has tried to do something important and failed. Maybe like me you tried to write and get published only to be repeatedly rejected. That was my story. In spades.
Getting published is really hard. My first manuscript FIRST EARTH (not published yet) was rejected over 200 times. I shelved it and wrote SECOND SIGHT. It was rejected 180 times. That dejecting process ran ten years. When I got the 180th rejection letter for Second Sight, a form letter sent about six months after I wrote to the publisher, I sat on the edge of my bed and broke down. I prayed and asked God if I was just being an idiot, writing about crazy theories about Ages, Cataclysms, Ancient people being smarter than us not because aliens showed up but because they had the same amount of time as we did to go from horseback to jet.
I asked God if I should just stop doing this. Just focus on being an architect and give up trying to be a writer. I leaned over the bed and just about got sick thinking about it. I failed. Ten years I beat myself up trying to write when I was making good money as an architect. Why? Was I nuts? Why was I doing this? Should I quit? I’d never given up on anything, ever. God what was happening to me?
I did something I only do in extreme emergencies: Flip open the Bible and read the first verse I saw as an act of desperation. Crazy people do it all the time. I don’t do crazy. I do calm and logical. I’m Spock when it comes to church and religion. But I had nowhere else to go. It was this or have a breakdown.
I flipped my old Bible open and the verse I read is the one I posted up top there. I never saw those words before. Was the verse saying what I thought it was saying ? Did it mean that everything we invented already existed in the past? Was I on the right track, just hadn’t gotten the words out right yet?
Didn’t know. All I was sure of as I wiped the snot out of my nose and blinked back tears is that I was a little sure that I was writing about something very important and I should keep going. I felt deep inside I wasn’t alone. I kept going. A few days later I met Kathryn Craft, president of the Greater Lehigh Valley Writer’s Club through a dear friend Jane Saurman. Through them I got my manuscript honed. A year later I met my agent Ann Boyle, who saved me during my first public reading in front of a jury by declaring my story was good. Through her I met Rudy and Wolf Pirate Publishing. Then a bunch of you bought my first book and a bunch more kept asking me to come speak about this topic. I thank God for all of you, over and over again.
Don’t be afraid of anything. Even if the world comes to an end-for all of us or just you personally-you don’t have to be depressed about it. Because God promises to seek what has passed by, including me, including you. He will rescue you and restore all the good stuff about you, forever. All the bad stuff you couldn’t get rid of, He will peel that away and set you free.
Whatever you are trying to do with your life, no matter how young or old you are, no matter how much or little talent you feel you have; keep going. What you are trying to do for others is worth all the rejection and failures. No matter what, it will end well for you. You will not die. You will live. Forever. You will not be forgotten. Because God loves you. In darkness, failure, even death, He will seek you and find you and bring you back. He will tell you “Well done. Welcome home. Live on.”
Just remember to flip your heart open to Him and let Him hold onto you. He will show you how giving instead of taking, loving instead of judging, are the tools that hold you up and give you a reason to try for the 381 st time. Eventually you’ll even stop counting your failures. They go away someday anyway. 🙂
Thanks for reading.