Have you ever had a book proposal turned down? You’ve slogged away, and you felt sure you’d done a good job – then this. I’m sure most of us will have been through many situations like this. It’s pretty devastating, isn’t it? But it shouldn’t be a reason for giving up! It’s just a reminder to be persistent.
Back in 2014, it happened to me. Not because, as I understood from the publishers, the letter and sample chapters were not well-written, but because it didn’t fit their list. In order to offset my frustration, I set to writing an article stating that I appreciate the frustration felt by others in similar circumstances, and I had it published in a magazine.
At times like this, plumbing or dentistry might seem to be more rewarding options than bashing away at a keyboard, I wrote. They, at least, give us the satisfaction of being able to provide something worthwhile for the benefit of others. They might, also, allow us either to sluice our disappointment down the drain or to vent our dissatisfaction via the drill!
Scripture and Perseverance
Scripture, however, has plenty to say about patience and perseverance, and it would seem that this was recognised at a Christian Resources Together retreat I attended at the time. An excellent event, it continues to give scope to writers to network with the many publishers, distributors, and booksellers present. To receive encouragement. And to learn!
Persistence pays, as Luke Wordley discovered when his self-published book, The Fight, was taken on by Tynedale, and Fiona Veitch Smith’s Young David series continues to make inroads into the Christian retail market. As she pointed out in one of the ACW* seminars:
“You have to trust; to keep on keeping on.” Absolutely! And this was a lesson I was intent on giving to others.
“We should never sell ourselves short,” I said to ACW author Catherine Campbell when she expressed reticence about the cost of traveling to an event like CRT. “If you knew of someone who was using their God-given gifts for the benefit of others, wouldn’t you endeavour to help out if they were unable to meet the cost of traveling to an event like CRT?”
Catherine conceded that, if able to, she would happily deem it part of her giving.
“Well, you are that person,” I reminded her.
It was clear from the look of surprise on her face that she’d never thought of herself, and what she had to offer, in that respect.
And I suspect that many of us feel the same. So remember: Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others. 1 Peter 4:10. Don’t give up! Persistence pays.