Happy 2021! I’ve been carrying on the romance vibe by continuing to watch the Hallmark Channel movies. They’re coming up with some good, fun, winter movies that are keeping romance alive on television!
My first 3 books were published by Belle Books. A great small press publisher. They were wonderful to work with and very helpful to my career in a lot of ways. But my inspirational novels weren’t selling well and we parted ways. They are a secular publisher who took a chance on Inspy novels, and I appreciate them giving me a chance.
I’ve spent these last few years self publishing. I’ve learned a lot about all aspects of the publishing world. I realize through it all the part I like the best is the writing. (I think most writers would agree!) I do still have a day job, so I’m in the business world 5 days a week. Needless to say, I’ve thought a lot about trying to write for a publisher again.
Which brings me to where I’m at in life right now.
I’ve got a proposal ready!
Do I, though?
So, I ask the pages staring at me from the other side of the computer the dreaded question. “Are you good enough?”
When do you know when the manuscript is ready to send? (This very question is why I never read any of my books after publication. Unless I’m at an event and they want me to read an excerpt.) It seems like there is always some area to improve on. Make better. Add more emotion, description. Something. Anything.
I’ve had 2 critique partners read the synopsis, and a reader. I’ve received all the feedback and made changes. I’ve had one of my critique partners read the 3 chapters. I’ve taken that feedback and made changes. I thought I was ready to send. Then why, oh why, did I reread the chapters and decide they could be better?
- Am I afraid to send to publisher for fear of rejection? This is a valid option. Once it’s gone, there’s no getting it back. It’s in the hand of someone else. We learn not to take rejection personally, but the work is a part of who we are, so a little bit of that is bound to happen.
- Am I afraid of my brain thinking of a fabulous plot twist seconds after I hit the send button.? If I keep working on the story while waiting for an answer, will I wish that I had added this or that plot point? Will I be filled with regret while waiting?
- If they like the proposal and want to see the full, will I be able to finish in a timely fashion? Even though I’ve finished 13 books this fear still enters my brain.
There are more fears writers have, but I don’t want this to go too long. I’m sure other creatives are in the same spot at times, wondering if they’re work is ready to send out.
I’ve read so many great books in the last 6 months from the line I would like to publish with. The stories are heartwarming, emotional and fun reads. I just pray what I’m working on has those same characteristics. So is the real question to my manuscript, “are you good enough?” Or is the real question to me. “Are you ready to take that leap?”
I’d love to hear of some chances you’ve taken where you just took the plunge! And the results!
Mary Preston says
I say take the leap. There are some times when you have to trust and just jump.
Mary—Thank you!! Trust and jump. I like it.
Hi Lindi! Thanks for sharing. In 2006 while teaching the opportunity arose for a week long all expenses paid by the Swiss government for study trip to Switzerland for German teachers. To visit Switzerland was on my bucket list. As a teacher I often encouraged my high school student to apply for scholarships and their dreams. Now I needed to do the same. My resume wasn’t up to date, and I spent a month outlining my teaching accomplishments, studying Swiss travel books, and writing and rewriting my answer to what are my five favorite books. As an avid reader in both English and German this was frustrating and I was second guessing whether they wanted just German works or Swiss. Then as I filled in the form, it looked a mess / so I recreated it and typed it out. To my surprise I was one of the ten recipients. 160 people applied. It was a trip of a life time. The next year I heard of a three week study trip to Japan. Another country on my bucket list, since as a child I knew a missionary to Japan. Since I spent so much time with my resume, I applied. Different essay, different second guessing. I was one of 1600 applicants for 300 spots and was surprised to be chosen. Definitely worth the risk. Plus so much to share with my students. Taking the leap has great rewards. Best wishes.
Renate!! What an inspiration! Those are quite the testimonies. I appreciate you sharing your experiences. How wonderful. And what beautiful opportunities. I’ve never been to either of those countries. My maiden name is Aebi–which in Switzerland is like Smith! Thank you for giving encouragement.
I say take the leap!! One leap that I took, that I will NEVER regret is being home with my Mom for 8 years and 11 and a half months. Now, those memories we made will get me through this season of grieving her, and I’ll always be thankful for the time I had with her. From being home with her, I needed to find a way to make some $$, and became an insurance agent. I’ve discovered I really like helping other people to find the best fit for them with their health insurance. Last January, I also started my own proofreading business. Both are doing well, and I was able to do them while taking care of things for Mom.
Trudy—Thank you for sharing. I’m sorry for the loss of your mom, but thrilled you have those memories to cherish. And starting 2 businesses. You ladies are rocking it. I love hearing stories like this.
John Wayne said courage was being scared to death but saddling up anyway! I think a healthy dose of fear can help us push onward even though we aren’t sure of the result. Taking chances is part of life & part of our growth as well. God encourages us by saying “Fear not, for I am with you.” That gives me great comfort & peace :-)
The one time I can come up with where I took a huge leap of faith was when I moved from Illinois to Oregon in 1996 so my husband & I could court and marry a year later. Never regretted a moment of it! I’m sure there are other times in my life, but I can’t really come up with them. I’m a cautious person, so it’s often hard for me to take that leap of faith…I really lean on God in those times though!
Trixi–I love the John Wayne quote. How true! And look at you, moving across country–for love! You know that’s a bit hit with these readers. And yes, we do have God to lean on. Thank you for sharing.
Lila Diller says
Take the leap!!! I learned this the hard way growing up so fearful that I wouldn’t even try new foods. The Lord began to work on me to take leaps of faith – which take courage! – in simple obedience to Him. He may use it to bring success in that area, or it may just be an exercise in leaping. One time I leaped while still terrified was the first time I applied to be a leader, something I have never seen myself as! I felt the Lord leading me to be a small group leader as a volunteer for Proverbs31 Ministries. I was scared to death! But I couldn’t shake the Holy Spirit’s prodding, so I applied. And when they accepted me, I was shocked! That first study was hard but amazing – I grew so much! I learned so much from it – non coincidentally, it was about following our Good Shepherd from Psalm 23 by Jennifer Rothschild – that I asked my pastor if I could lead the small group with a few ladies at church! I actually asked to lead! That was all God, definitely not something I could have ever done or ever wanted to do by myself. So go ahead, take that first step and let God handle the results!
Lila–What a cool testimony! I like how you put that. Obedience or leaping. I’m sure your small group is blessed beyond belief with your heart for God. Way to go! And thank you for sharing.
Alicia Haney says
Hi, when my daughter was in the first grade and our son was in pre K, I was asked by my daughters volunteer Catechism teacher if I would sub for her one day, well,I thought about it and I said I would sub for her. Well, my daughters Catechism teacher had had a job interview and she got the job, and so she asked me if I would take over her class, so I thought about it, I didn’t feel I was capable and so I said yes again to her, and that was the beginning of me volunteering for over 25 yrs and teaching little ones from 1st grade through 3rd grade teaching them Catechism, and I loved it and it is Very rewarding. 7 yrs ago I started teaching our grandaughter and our grandson that live in our same town their Catechism, and I am still doing it. Have a Great week and stay safe. God Bless you.
Alicia–Thank you for sharing your story–and look! Your still teaching. I think that’s so amazing how God works and us, too. God had it in His plans for you to continue on this track all these years later, and I bet, when you started you had no idea. How awesome!
I love Lila’s comment above. It may “bring success in that area, or it may just be an exercise in leaping.” As a daughter of the King, if you are facing something that is not itself sinful, there really are no wrong answers. Will you find success? Yay! That success will be a springboard to more service, more joy, more provision, on and on. Will you find that the specific opportunity was not to be yours? Yay! Now you have some more understanding of that publisher, the better to deal with them in the future. You also have an opportunity to write a new story. Either a better version of the current one, or a new one adorned with splashes of the best from the old one.
If you cannot fail in your Father’s eyes, what will you enjoy today?
Lincoln–you have no idea how your words are a blessing. :) This is so true. If what I’m trying to do is for the Lord, keep doing! Like you said, take their advice, improve, rewrite, just keep your mind on the Lord! Our days will be filled with pleasing the Lord in all we do. Thank you!
Lindi, I just finished reading an old time classic by Carol Hodgson Burnett – A Little Princess (Wordsworth Classic) and the very front page of this edition, similar feelings are expressed. What do I put in? What do I take out? After I send it, will I wish I had added this person’s story or that person’s story? Will the story ever be completely complete? Your comments made me think of her perspective.
Well, I might as well give you the actual words from the book:
“I do not know whether many people realise how much more than is ever written there really is in a story – how many parts of it are never told – how much more really happened than there is in the book one holds in one’s hand and pores over. Stories are something like letters. When a letter is written, how often one remembers things omitted and says: ‘Ah, why did I not tell them that?’ In writing a book one relates all that one remembers at the time, and if one told all that really happened perhaps the book would never end. Between the lines of every story there is another story, and that is one that is never heard and can only be guessed at by the people who are good at guessing. The person who writes the story may never know all of it, but sometimes he does and wishes he had the chance to begin again.”
Sandra—How beautiful! Thank you for sharing. We have to trust that we’re putting in the right amount. I’ll print this out and treasure this. She says it so much more eloquently than I did, but it’s so true!! Thank you for sharing all of her words.
Take the leap.
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. (taken from Gretsky)
Denise–love the hockey quote. How appropriate!!
Natalya Lakhno says
“fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”