I read accounts of aspiring writers expressing their disappointment
after they’ve received a rejection, my heart goes out to them. I’ve
been in that same place where rejections seemed an endless circle for
several years after I began writing seriously. They caused me to wonder
if I’d ever be published, if I were on the right career path. But deep
down in my heart the desire to be write beat on. I could not give up,
and neither should you if you are feeling like throwing in the
Three things a Christian writer
must have besides a tough skin: persistence, patience, and the belief
that God has blessed you with a gift, whether it is to write one story
or a thousand. Continue to write, improve your craft, send out queries,
put your writing career into God’s hands, and commit your work to Him.
“But if we hope for that we see
not, then do we with patience wait for it” (Rom. 8:25).
“Commit your works to the LORD,
and your thoughts will be established” (Prov. 16:3).
Rejections come with the writing
life; however, the day you land your first publishing contract, all
that you went through to get to this point will be worth it, no matter
how long it took. Still, you might get a rejection from your editor on
a new proposal, but you can ask what you can do to make the manuscript
better, what you can change to meet her expectations. As you grow as a
writer, you’ll begin to view rejections as stepping-stones to something
better, to make you a better writer, a motivation to make your
manuscript the best it can be.
Some may disagree, but I tend to
think we need to change the wording from rejection to a pass.
Wouldn’t that make it a little less gut-wrenching for writers?
Editors and agents will tell you
that most passes are because the book’s premise does not intrigue them,
or they haven’t the room for another client or author. But that is not
to say a lot of submissions are given a pass based on poor writing and
I had finished writing Surrender the Wind, I
started sending out queries right away. Frustrated after a year of
receiving passes from agents, I sat down at my desk one July morning in
2008 and asked the Lord to show me what He wanted me to do with this
book and with my career. I have a
in a frame on my desk that says
“Commit your work to the Lord,” and when I looked over at it, I decided
that was the only way to go. Commit it all into His hands. If He wanted
my novel published, it would be. I had to be patient for the right door
to open at the right time and place.
Fifteen minutes later I read on
Brandilyn Collins’s blog that Barbara Scott had been hired as the new
acquisitions editor at Abingdon Press. They were starting a fiction
line and she was looking for novels in my genre—inspirational
historical romance. I sent Barbara a query and she requested the
manuscript. I was offered a contract and Surrender the Wind
came out August ’09. In June 2010, I signed again with Abingdon for a
historical series Daughters of the Potomac.
I’m not sharing these successes
to toot my own horn but to encourage you to look at rejections in a
different light. Remember, they are stepping-stones to something
better. Be patient and persistent.