I’m not a patient person. I want my novels to sell to a big publishing house, and I want it to happen right now. The longer it takes, the more I doubt my ability to write a good story, while absolutely knowing I have the ability to write a good story. Talk about tension!
The same questions often arise. Are my novels good? If they are, why haven’t they sold? What if they’re awful? Duds! Uninspiring drivel! WHAT’S TAKING SO LONG?
Anxiety is high during the wait for publication. One day I feel hopeful, the next I feel the unease of something left undone, and there’s nothing I can do but wait for the right connection with a publisher. My stories have to stand on their own. They’re out there, submitted to all kinds of weary editor’s eyes who are searching for that special work. I’ve done what I can do. The rest is out of my hands.
I feel the weight of the wait.
My husband once asked me, while I was in the melancholy state of overthinking and playing out the huge possibility of failure, “What will having a published novel change?” Meaning, why would having my novels published make me feel better? Would I feel more important? More valuable?
Important and valuable aren’t the right words to explain what being published would change, but validated and accomplished are. A published work means fulfillment. It’s the place I long to be. I want to publish with one of the big imprints. It could take a few more novels to reach that level, but that’s where I’m aiming.
When I consider this goal, I work harder and longer. I delete the useless words and exchange them for the meaningful. I read other authors I admire. I get better. I grow. I believe. Perhaps I can’t wave a magic wand and make the connections appear, but I can hold fast to the hope that sparked this adventure in the beginning.
Maybe you’re feeling melancholy about the lack of interest in your unpublished work. There’s an unfulfilled, weighty emptiness in your soul. During the weight of the wait, remember your value and importance are never going to change, regardless of your status as an author. You are already priceless and one-of-a-kind. Keep working toward your goal, knowing God takes pleasure in the fulfillment of your purpose.
Philippians 2:13 New King James Version (NKJV)
13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Philippians 3:13-14 New King James Version (NKJV)
13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.