Finding Worth in the Work

letter writingThe last few weeks I’ve been discussing how to handle criticism in relation to the novella I was working on as part of a collection recently submitted to a publisher. It’s been a difficult time, and yet, I’m learning something. I’m beginning to get the perspective that it’s the accomplishment, and not the results, that counts. Click to Tweet #amwriting #perspective

All four authors worked hard to make our manuscripts the best we could. We were only given two months to get them “publish-ready.” (See my Wednesday posts regarding that subject.) I admitted to not having understood where the actual story was in the beginning, not ever having written a straight romance before. My novel is what my agent calls a “love story” and not a romance.

I shared about feeling humbled, and also humiliated, about my 95% story re-write, and that I accepted all the help I received. In the end, it came down to what I perceived as an “attack” on my identity, which is really wasn’t.

To their credit, this publisher doesn’t make you wait months to know their decision. As it was in December, when we submitted our book proposal, we heard a week after submission, the publisher “passed on the entire project.” That means they weren’t accepting any part of it. None of our stories will be published by them.

Rejection page logoThankfully, I’d been at a writer’s retreat that day our ACFW chapter had sponsored. It was a good day, so this news of rejection didn’t hurt nearly as much.

We knew going in that our chances were small of actually being published, especially after one of the colleagues said they knew who we were up against: already successful published authors.

In trying to find the reason, the purpose behind the past two months, all I could come up with was the accomplishment of writing a 24K novella in two months’ time, plus the 95% re-write in two weeks. I humbled myself and allowed six others to critique, edit, and change my work.

That’s the accomplishment. The work itself. The 24K novella, even though rejected by the publisher who’d asked for it, still stands on my computer. I can now do what I want with it. I have lots of options: 1) change all the names (which I will), 2) expand it (very possibly), 3) seek another publisher (maybe), 4) self-publish it (which I may very well do).

Even though the results were not what I’d hoped for, the accomplishment still stands. That’s the perspective. We create, then leave the results in God’s hands, and our own. Click to Tweet #amwriting #perspective

What about you? What project or job have you accomplished that didn’t receive the results you’d hoped for? Leave a comment and let me know.



5 Comments on “Finding Worth in the Work”

  1. I’m sorry the publisher chose not to publish the novellas. However, I am happy that you feel a sense of accomplishment from this project. I know it was difficult and you were under pressure. But it was a learning experience that has now left you with some exciting possibilities/options.
    And, yes, God gifted us to create stories and what happens to them after we have written them and submitted them is in His hands.


  2. Thanks for your comment, Kelly. We knew our chances were slim to be accepted for publication. Only God could have given me that sense of accomplishment. My natural mind wanted to view it as a loss. But God wouldn’t “let” me view it that way. Probably because I drew nearer to God during that two-week re-write period. I incorporated more prayer journaling and worship in my day during those two weeks. Try as I might have wanted to, my own spirit wouldn’t let me feel defeated. I can only attribute that to God. Thanks again Kelly 🙂 Blessings. Can’t wait to hear more and read more of your historical you’re writing. 🙂


  3. I just re-read this post and noticed that I missed the first time through, that you said your agent said your story was a “love story” not a “romance”. Did your agent explain the difference to you? I didn’t know there was a difference. I haven’t seen a “love story” genre.


    • According to my agent, a love story may have more than 2 POV and the guy and gal don’t meet on the first page. Also, there is more to the story than the romance. With romance, the romance IS the story. Thanks for asking, Kelly. It’s a great question. 🙂


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