by Nicole Petrino-Salter
As a writer, you can do everything right and still feel like you did everything wrong. You know what I mean?
You studied the craft, you wrote your first novel, you set it down for a month or two, you went back, you edited it like crazy. You studied more. You went to writers conferences. You met people. You met professionals (and, yes, some of them are people too). They liked you. You liked them. You waited a year or two, wrote two more novels. You went back to a conference and pitched your work. You heard back.
“Not for us at this time.” “Thank you, but no.” “Good writing, not what we need.” “We wish you the best with your work.” Over and over again.
You persevered. You tried again. You kept writing.
We all know there are different kinds of people, let alone different kinds of writers. Some have no “quit” gene in them. Others will bail at the first rejection.
There’s only one difference I know of that can affect the outcomes of successes or rejections. That’s the relationship with Jesus Christ. Secular philosophies attribute everything to the flesh incorporating “luck” into all the equations for achieving or failing at what they do.
A Christian who writes believes his steps are ordered by the Lord and true success comes in obedience to His leading. The path isn’t necessarily smooth, not always “rewarding” in the human sense, and can involve some major disappointments. It can even feel wrong – after attempting to do everything right. And, if the truth be known, it can cause a writer to wonder about the direction he took, be faced with giving up, wanting to give up, but ultimately realizing he can’t give up but must conclude what he thought was the path to satisfaction and success is really following the road to wherever God leads.
Sometimes it’s hard to admit that God’s direction is better than the one we had planned for us. We didn’t mind the years of work to perfect our craft, a rejection or ten, because we kept envisioning a novel that kept readers professing how much they enjoyed it, how it touched their hearts, made them laugh out loud, comforted them – you get my drift. We had many five star reviews in mind, several fours, a few threes, and to be fair a couple of one and two star contributions by readers who probably didn’t even read the book. It was a good plan with everything done “right”. Then how had it gone so wrong? Or did it?
When you strip it all down to the bare naked truth, if you did what God had for you to do, you can decide not to question the journey. If you think you should’ve done some more, you can continue to do those things. If you’ve done all God has for you to do, nothing else matters. Not sales. Not social media. Not platform. Not anything.
Nicole Petrino-Salter writes love stories with a passion. You can visit her here most days.