It’s mating season for the gangs of wild turkeys loitering in my neighborhood.
This time each year, the male turkeys start acting goofy. While females peck about the lawn, males strut around them, spreading their feathers until they look like big, puffy balls resembling over-developed body builders.
They hold their little blue heads high, showing off that dangly skin beneath their beaks. The females don’t look remotely interested, but each year fuzzy baby turkeys do appear, so the guys must score.
Watching them is amusing until you’re trying to get somewhere like I was last night, and you get caught in turkey traffic. I breezed along a Connecticut back-road when the three cars in front of me slowed to a stop. Craning my neck, I saw the holdup—six male turkeys putting on a parade. Drivers in the opposite lane watched and grinned, too.
Two full minutes later, grins were gone. Cross the road already and quit showing off! We have places to go! At least this craziness only lasts for a season.
There is a time when it is for writers to strut their stuff too. Once we’ve written, rewritten and polished, there comes a time when we must begin pursuing publication—writing queries and proposals that display our best possible writing.
Many of us, who are insecure, might feel like turkeys as we seek the attention of editors, agents and publishers. Promoting ourselves feels unnatural and we’d prefer to crawl back into our cozy computer chairs and spin tales. Persistently spreading our feathers is par for the course though, if we want to be published.
In Luke 18, Jesus told a parable about a persistent widow who kept coming to a certain judge pleading for justice against her adversary. For awhile, the judge puts her off, but eventually gives in saying, “Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice…”
While we seek publication, not justice, the same principal applies: persistence pays off. If the process of seeking publication is getting you down, if you’ve collected enough rejection letters to wallpaper your house and the publishers aren’t looking any more interested than the girls turkeys on my lawn…. Just keep on spreading those feathers.
This process can be wearisome, but I know that if You’ve given me this talent and You want my work published, it will happen. Please help me to persevere through the parts of being a writer that don’t come easy. Thank you for using all of this, even the waiting and the discouraging times, to teach me and help me grow.