I’ve read posts by other writers who say they have so many rejections they could paper a wall with them. Really? I have a feeling they’re exaggerating. Do they keep track of how many they get?
I do. That’s why I know I’ve had nine. Three contests, four publishers, two agents. Most of the publishers say they’re too busy now. Such was the case of my last two rejections. They’re just too busy.
Then why did they ask to see my manuscript? Did they expect it to be that outstanding and overwhelming to them that they couldn’t resist? Evidently. I probably disappointed them, as they now disappoint me.
But what I’m learning is: heal quickly. I was a monster on Sunday, the day I heard from my contingency publisher, the one I was sure would take “Meghan’s Choice” and run with it. I don’t handle crises well in the beginning. It took me twenty (20) gut-wrenching, soul-searching, heart-rending hours to work through the pain and begin to release it. But that is a RECORD for me!
Rejections are like paper cuts. They hurt a LOT in the beginning. A LOT! But we can’t let them affect our lives in the long run, because it’s too easy to let things like this short-circuit, delay, and strand us for years in a wilderness. I ought to know, it’s happened to me. But I’m through letting that happen. We have to press through the pain. That’s the hard part.
It’s not pretty when I go off the deep end and rail at God. I’m a redhead and I get very, very angry. I call them “grand mal” temper tantrums (like a grand mal seizure). I shout, scream, and otherwise be nasty, degrading myself, mostly. Because I take responsibility for my actions, I blame myself because my manuscript wasn’t what they wanted. But I have to stop doing that, too. I wrote my story to glorify God, not only to please man.
Most “Christian” novels are no more than basic fluff writing, because even Christians don’t want to be challenged when they read, they want to be entertained. They want to escape their problems just like anyone else. They want God to intervene, but only on their terms. I’ve heard it said that Christian publishers are the worst when it comes to the supernatural in writing. They don’t want demons or angels in the story. Wow. Our battle is spiritual, we need angelic help, and we wrestle with the demons in our own lives. Why then was Frank Peretti so successful with his books if people didn’t want to know about that kind of hope?
I’m sorry, that’s not good enough for me. I want to see God’s power in a story. I want to read about miracles. I want to read about how the presence of God came upon the Virgin Mary. What did that feel like? Can we experience that today? Yes. I won’t conceive and birth the Messiah, because He’s already come, but the same power of the Holy Spirit that conceived Jesus, has touched me many times. I want to read about that. Catherine Marshall described some of that feeling in her novel, Christy, and I’ll never forget it.
Blessed Child and A Man Called Blessed are the two best books I’ve ever read about the supernatural power of God in everyday life. Bill Bright and Ted Dekker wrote these books fifteen years ago. I was reminded of them yesterday, when a friend who was celebrating my commissioning from ministry training school, took me to lunch. We stopped at an independent bookstore. And there was A Man Called Blessed. It was a used book, I recognized the older cover, but I bought it for my friend who has the first book, and nearly finished it. She hopes to finish Blessed Child, then go directly into A Man Called Blessed. Matt Crouch thought he’d make a movie of Blessed Child a number of years ago. I wish he had. I long to see the Christian supernatural in movies as well.
There are three points I’m trying to make here.
One: Yes, I got another rejection. It may be my last one for this book, because “Meghan’s Choice” is now in limbo, and she may stay there forever unless I decide to publish her myself on CreateSpace, knowing full well, that while that gives me Amazon’s advantage, it will probably take away the support of the local indie bookstore I just patronized yesterday.
Two: While I am very happy I healed from the worst part of the pain of rejection quicker than ever, I’m not proud of myself in the way I did it. I let it all hang out when I’m with God, because He’s big enough to hear me out, even when I don’t act like I’m a Christian. I am real in my pain. I don’t hide anything from God.
Three: Although I don’t know my future, I trust in God, who does. I just wish He would tell me a bit more so I could be prepared. But trust says “I will follow the Lord no matter what.” I have a lot of irons in the fire, with ACFW and three blogs I’m involved in, two of them brand spanking new. I’s not like I don’t have anything to do. I’m actually quite busy myself.
So, I refuse to give in to depression, to prolonged anger that could turn into hatred or a grudge. I choose to release. That is the key. Release it and let it go. I’m prepared to let my novel go the way of all unpublished novels if need be. She’s just about as dead as she could ever be. But I’m not. I am alive, and I will live my life.
What about you? Do you keep track of hurts and pains? The only reason I did this was so I would know how far I’ve come. Leave a comment and let me know.