I’m so excited about July’s topic that I’m starting a few days early. We’re going to talking about publishing. Big publishers, small publishers, vanity publishers, self-publishing, indie publishing, and I’m sure there will be several more thrown into the mix.
But first, let’s get some June business out of the way. It seems we have a winner. Drumroll please…………
This month’s winner of the $10.00 Amazon gift card is Karen! Congratulations, Karen, please contact me at christinainspirationals at gmail dot com with your email so I can get that to you.
Now, on to one of my favorite subjects: Publishing. And what better way to start July’s topic off than with a call story. Mine. 😉 I hope, no I pray, that if you’re on this publishing journey and frustrated by the closed doors and the slowness, that you’ll be encouraged by my story. I pray you’ll be able to find confidence in God’s timing and step from behind the mask.
I’ve been writing forever. I can remember way back when thinking how cool it would be to write a book but I didn’t have a college education. I was a stay at home mom. I didn’t know much about anything, and according to those who did have a college education a person could only write about what they knew. I was kind of devastated. I put the dream away and continued being a housewife and a mom.
It wasn’t until 2005/2006 that I came across a writing contest through Avon. I entered, had a lot of fun, and met a bunch of other writers, writers who took the contest opportunity seriously. It was then I figured out I didn’t have to have a college education. It was then I started actively pursuing publication. In the grand scheme of things, seven years really doesn’t seem that long, especially knowing there are writers who’ve been writing for twenty plus years and still trying to make it in this business. However, when you’re writing and submitting and writing and submitting and spinning your wheels the years can get tiring.
In the spring of 2011, I was getting discouraged. Not from rejections, because I really hadn’t had that many, but I had attended a conference aptly called ‘Called to Write’. One of the speakers went into whether or not we were called and I began questioning whether writing was my desire or God’s calling on my life.
After I returned home from that conference I went for a walk, and I prayed, and prayed, and prayed. Once I shut my trap, Psalm 37:4 came to mind. Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. I glanced up at the blue sky and said, “Lord, if I take delight in you, then won’t you be the desire of my heart.”
A sense of peace washed over me, but I didn’t have my answer as to whether or not writing was in God’s plan for me.
Fast forward to the fall of 2012, after months of writing, revising and submitting new works, I found myself sitting in our upholstery shop sewing. Now, anyone who knows me knows I don’t really like to sew, much to my seamstress mother’s displeasure. I knew in a few months I’d be helping my BFF by subbing her daycare so she could fulfill her dream of becoming a nurse, and here I was helping hubs fulfill his dream of owning his own business. Realization hit me and I started to cry. I was sad. It seemed God had finally answered my question and I had to be okay with it. I wasn’t called to write, I was called to help others fulfill their dreams.
But I couldn’t not write. I’ve heard people say writing is what I do, but I knew that wasn’t true for me. Sewing was something I did, but writing was a part of me. It’s who God created me to be. I knew this now. Funny how it seemed once I acknowledged that I would give up writing if that is what God asked me to I began to feel as if God had called me to write. So, I continued writing, even though I was finally beginning to get a few rejections. I say finally, because I’d much rather have a rejection than nothing.
I entered one last contest with two different manuscripts. One, I wanted the feedback. Two, I felt as if both manuscripts were as ready as they were going to get. Besides, wouldn’t it be cool if I double finaled before I sold?
Well, the day for the finalist announcement came and went. I stalked the website like nobody’s business. Nothing. No announcement, no nothing. That’s okay, even though I was disappointed and a little discouraged, I didn’t need a final. I would just take the feedback, revamp and prepare for the big writing contests for unpublished writers: Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart and American Christian Fiction Writers’ Genesis. But for now I’d try my hardest to keep my head up, after all I now KNEW God had called me to write and I needed to trust Him and His timing.
Then I read a post on Seekerville by Myra Johnson. “That is SO Five Years Ago!” Something she said in her post really resonated with me. “I was at the end of my writing rope and ready to give up hope of ever becoming a published novelist.”
Amen, Sister. I am so with you there. *wipe tears from my eyes*
I was still reeling from the fact that God hadn’t opened the doors for me to attend ACFW Conference. I mean, I was more ready now than I had ever been. Two complete manuscripts, desire, passion, determination, that sixth sense that said I had to go to Texas to sell a book. I had it all, well, except confidence and the finances.
That’s okay though, at least it was on Monday, Wednesday and Friday when I trusted God’s timing. The rest of the days, not so much. God and I had many a conversation as to whether or not I was bipolar or having a mid-life crisis. But in the quiet of the night, while I counted sheep and said my night time prayers, He’d say, “Trust me.”
I finally hitched up my big girl panties and trudged back into the murky waters of limbo. I had no idea where to go or what to do. After a few more tears and a bit of foot stomping, and some great advice from one of the most awesomest people I’ve ever come across, Tina Radcliffe, I decided to take a break from the historicals and give Love Inspired Suspense’s Fast Track a go.
Come back Tuesday for the rest of the story.
*portions of this call story was originally posted at Seekerville on November 6, 2012