Disappointments and Expectations—Part III
This whole fall season has been frustrating and disappointing to me, in many ways. All professionally, not personally. I have the greatest husband in all the world and we’ve married 29 years. But my writing is going nowhere. My question: how long do I persist in pursuing something that may never happen? How much money do I throw into it? I’ve already put in thousands of dollars and years––with virtually no return on my investment.
Ok. Yes, I have a literary agent, and I’m thankful for him. The thing is––there is no guarantee I’ll ever be traditionally published. The most recent rejection came this last week with a comment that said something like, “Our genre is filled and this story isn’t strong enough to stand on its own.” Sheesh.
Let’s look again at the definitions. Disappoint: Webster’s definition—to fail to satisfy the hopes or expectations of; to undo or frustrate (a plan, intention, etc.) to thwart (whether it was intentional or not). Expect: Webster’s—await, wait for; to look for as likely to occur or appear; to look forward to, anticipate. (Faith in what we hope for is involved here.)
Every rejection I get is a disappointment to me. Although I’m trying to choose to have a positive attitude that maybe, just maybe, someday, (oh, how I hate that word), I’ll get what I expect, and what I expect is the best. So when I don’t get it, ugh. I fuss about it. I vent to the Lord. I do take the time to feel the letdown, the hurt and rejection. I’m working at processing it as quickly as possible, to try to get over it. It’s my Forgive, Release, and Move On strategy of healing. I’ve talked about it before on this blog.
I’ve had numerous disappointments this fall. But this time, I’m struggling through this process, and I’m not doing well, but I’m hoping to come out on top. I won’t go into the individual disappointments. The emotional pain from the accumulation of all the little and big disappointments has wearied me.
Every day, I struggle to say, “I will follow the Lord––no matter what.” I have chosen many times in the past to follow Christ, but in this season of quite difficult testing, in which I have not responded very well, I still choose. I can be crying my eyes out, but I still choose. Nothing changes in my circumstances, but I keep trying. That’s the most positive thing I can say about this––I keep trying. Remember, it’s my living epitaph. I have a post about that. I keep trying to find God’swill for me.
So––have yourself a Merry little Christmas! After the first of the year, I’ll go back to a writing post, and continue the Story-fixing series. Thank you for reading.
In the words of you-know-who, I feel your pain. Everyone has different goals and for a while mine was to be published traditionally. I’ve pretty much ditched that goal because the odds are greatly against me, and even if I were published, I’m sure I’d be dealing with another level of disappointment in lagging book sales. So I’ve self-published and now the only disappointment I’m dealing with is, yes, lagging book sales. I’ve come to the conclusion that I need a better motivation for all the work I put into the craft than a lucrative writing career. So I write for my own satisfaction.
Jim Avett, father of Seth and Scott Avett, aka The Avett Brothers said this: “I told the boys early on, play it the way you play it, and if it’s good, if it’s entertaining, then folks will come to hear you. If not, then we’ll sit here on the front porch and entertain ourselves.”
I take that same philosophy and apply it to writing.
But you never know, the next publisher may take your manuscript. Keep trying.
I hear ya, Donna. The disappointment of expectation, the expectation of disappointment. But you keep on keepin’ on! I’ve been impacted by you and your journey, and I know others have too. For my own journey, I’ve learned that, even if my dream doesn’t turn out to be the same as God’s desired end result, the process is His working ground and the results are not up to me. But I’ve not given Him much ground to work with lately as I’ve given in to burnout and busyness…so you’re staying in motion speaks immensely to me. I sense that God uses my writing to change me first and foremost, and though my desire is to have it go out to others, even though it hasn’t (not by my measurements, at least) every now and then I get a glimpse of what God is doing, and I see that He cares most about His work in me through it all. I guess what I’m trying to say is be encouraged because God is at work, and you are the ultimate masterpiece in the forefront of His mind. The rejection process hurts–oh, how I know!–and I’m not forgetting that. God sees and cares, and I’ll be praying for encouragement as you continue to pursue your calling.
Donna – If you have an agent, check out Amazon White Glove. It’s a step above self-publishing. After I left the small press that published my first three books, my agent suggested them. It’s been a good experience. God bless, Susan