Winston Churchill said “never never never give up.” As I have embarked on a career as an author, I can honestly say that I have wanted to give up more than once! Rejection letters are NOT easy on the ego and they begin to create a level of self doubt that I find difficult to compare to other experiences that I’ve had in my life. I am having my first children’s book, The Squirrel Family Acorn, published with Christian Faith Publishing. They have been terrific! I can’t wait for the finished product to be released in a few months. I decided to go with the self publishing route for several reasons. First, I could get my book out faster if I wasn’t waiting for publishing houses to accept my manuscript. Second, I could have more control over my precious manuscript. And third, I didn’t have to put myself out there and get rejected in case someone didn’t love my manuscript as much as I loved it (or my parents…thank you a million times for your unconditional love an support).
Since I’ve had a positive experience with CFP and I’ve got more manuscripts ready to go, my confidence was riding high and I decided that I could face the real world and began submitting my manuscripts to traditional publishing houses and literary agents. No amount of confidence can prepare you for the brutality of the literary world! I began receiving rejection letters on a regular basis and slowly my confidence started to dwindle and thoughts like “Am I good enough?” and “Can I do this?” began filling the space in my head where I had once dreamed of book signings and read-a-louds for my adoring fans. Last week was the final straw with yet another rejection and I decided I didn’t have what it takes to be a Christian author in today’s secular culture. I went to bed having decided that I was hanging up my pen and paper (or laptop if I’m being completely transparent).
In the middle of the night I woke up with the verse “I did not give you a spirit of fear” on a loop in my brain. I couldn’t go back to sleep and I knew that I would not be hanging up my laptop just yet. I meditated on Churchill’s famous saying and got out my bible to find 2 Timothy 1:7 ” For God did not give us a spirit of fear. He gave us a spirit of power and of love and of a good mind.” I decided to double down on my efforts to never never never give up!!! God did and does give me a spirit of power and I will use these gifts to glorify Him! Rejection is NOT easy but I won’t quit because of fear. I will continue to put myself out there and speak the good news.
After months and months of writing, research and rejection, I’m happy to report that I just signed a contract with my literary agent. Hang in there, fellow writers! The dream is alive and never never never give up!