Following a dream...

Perhaps you've written one story—or a hundred—but I think we all reach times when we feel like we're at the end of our rope and want to give up, or at least question will I ever sell this book?!

I know I've been there, even quite recently. I kept waiting for news—good news—not the pile of growing rejection slips. But it wasn't happening. Even worse, I found that instead of focusing on the joy of writing I had become side tracked. Somewhere along the line, my goals had shifted from enjoying the writing process to making a sale. Instead of rejoicing with my friends over a contract awarded, I began to cringe and wonder will my turn ever come? That's when I knew something was wrong—dreadfully wrong. Where did the love for writing—not to mention love for my fellow writers—go?

It wasn't until I hit this place, going full speed mind you, that I realized God was up to something. Whether I was ever offered another contract or not, He was using this time to tenderly teach me some hard lessons.

1. Love: I can't let the rejection letter's pull me down. Instead, I need to embrace to love of writing. Write for the love the craft and out of my love for the Lord.
2. Hope: With each new proposal I send out, I'm not going to give up on hope. Writing is fickle. What one person loves, another may reject. Its about finding the right person as God allows. You never know when a window or door will open.
3. Patience: Writing has stretched me in areas of patience. Instead of cringing over the length of time a publisher is holding my story, I can use this time to work on another project.
4. Joy: I don't want to loose the joy of my project and get bogged down with the passing of time. Instead, I'll choose to enjoy each and every moment of this growing process and seek out lessons that the Lord wants me to learn
5. Peace: This gives me great peace...knowing as I alluded to above, if God wants my story published, it will in be--in His good and perfect timing.
6. Kindness: It's now always easy showing kindness to folks who criticize your work.(I'm not referring to the helpful edits that editors do, rather the general remarks that are made, which make you feel like your manuscript is only fit for the trash.) I have found in writing, I need to have thick skin. I'll glean what I can from their comments, perhaps they have a valid point(s)—but if that's not the case, I'm choosing to let their personal opinion go. After all, what is one man's trash is another man's treasure.

Did you ever think God could use the writing process to help us learn more about the Fruits of the Spirit? What a totally creative and awesome God we serve! Don't grow weary in your writing or following your dream to be published. However, let's not get so caught up in those dreams that we loose sight of the bigger picture. Let's choose to focus on doing our best for the Lord—and allow Him to accomplish His purposes in our lives.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.— Psalm 19:14 (NIV)

Best wishes on your personal writing success!


  1. What a wonderful reminder!! And we're so fortunate as Christian writers to know that God is our ultimate editor : )

  2. Beautiful post, JoAnn! And a wonderful reminder to give our writing to God and allow Him to do His good work in His His time...and for His glory!

  3. Lovely post, JoAnn! I needed that reminder myself.

  4. Beautifully said, JoAnn. The Lord gets to us through Scripture, doesn't He? Without taking His words from its context, He meets us where we are. His Word speaks to us, and if we're open to the Spirit, we apply it to the situation we're in. I'm finding Him in a new way as I go through the Beth Moore study of Esther. Wow; I don't know how many times I've said, WOW!!

  5. Thanks everyone for your comments. I'm ashamed at how easily I can forget the the basics and get side-tracked!

    Sometimes, it's just when we're ready to give up, that's when God says, OK... now that your not trusting in your own abilities...NOW we can get to work.:)

    LoRee, I agree, Beth Moore is a gifted teacher. I'm glad you're enjoying her study.

  6. Nicely said. :) And He also uses rejection letters to keep us grounded and stop us getting big headed over being published.

    Hardest thing though is when you open your inbox and find a contract and a rejection both at the same time.