Lady Glamis did a follow up post to mine yesterday with some beautiful thoughts about the writing journey and the waiting process. Her perspective is very refreshing. I'd encourage you to read it if you haven't already.
Ultimately we're all waiting for the same thing: publication. And even after publication, from what I've heard, we'll still have a lot of waiting, just a different kind!
I'm always fascinated to hear stories about the length some writers have to wait from when they seriously start writing until they finally get published. Here are a few examples of Christian authors taken from the book Behind the Stories by Diane Eble.
- Jan Karon of At Home in Mitford series: She quit her day job, bought a cabin in the mountains and began to write. She sacrificed much to follow her dream and even lived without a car for an entire year. She says it was a time of testing, molding, shaping, and suffering. After finally getting an agent to look at the first book of the Mitford series, the agent sat on it for a year and a half. It was rejected again and again. But she continued to believe there was as at least a small audience for the book. "The road to publication and fame was uphill all the way."
- Gilbert Morris author of more than 165 historical novels: His first novel was rejected twenty-six times. He says that prayer is the key in knowing if all the rejections are God's red light or if they are the normal obstacles anyone faces when trying something new. He said he didn't sense God telling him to stop, so he persevered.
- Robin Jones Gunn of the YA Christy Miller and Siera Jensen series: The teenage girls of her youth group encouraged her to write Christian novels for them. She labored for two years over her first book, reading chapters to the youth group girls and getting their feedback. When she finished, she tried to sell it, but ten publishers turned it down. She was almost ready to give up but then realized it was a calling; God wanted her to write to be a missionary to teenagers. So she kept persevering and eventually Focus on the Family published her series.
Do these kinds of stories make the waiting easier and encourage you to keep writing? Or do they discourage you and act as another reminder that the wait could be longer than you'd initially thought?
I feel a bit of both. I don't like to think that it could take years and 25 plus rejections before I get published. But I'm also encouraged to hear that all the waiting could one day pay off.
"We can do anything we want as long as we stick to it long enough." Helen Keller