You’ve been writing on your WIP (work-in-progress) for years.
You’ve read “how-to” books, attended conferences, and are a member of a local writer’s group.
Everyone tells you they love your story.
You submit and get rejected.
You submit and get rejected.
You revise again.
You attend a conference and meet with an editor who tells you it’s good, but they can’t use it.
You learn new stuff at the workshops.
You’re excited to get home and revise. Again.
You show it to your writer’s group. They don’t like it.
You go home and cry and think you need to delete everything and start over.
Sound a little familiar?
Most of us go through this. Even if we feel God has called us to write. We start off strong and excited, but then days pass. Weeks pass. Months pass. Years pass. And we wonder if we heard God right.
This happened to me. I started writing in 1995. Published two picture books through Concordia in 2001 ~ after only TWO rejections. Woot! I was on my way! They were going to put out two books a year (for girls), and they were looking over the series for boys. Oh yeah. I was SET.
Then a new editor came and sent everyone’s stuff back.
So I started writing on a middle-grade-novel idea, joined a private critique group in 2003 (we still meet once a year!), got some devotions published in several compilations, and a few in The Secret Place. (Which encouraged me to keep going, because every time I thought I might quit writing, I sold one.)
Then I got the idea for Fairyeater. It started off kinda small and grew into an epic quest fantasy. Over 100,000 words! I went through much of what I wrote in the beginning of this blog post. And every time I wondered if I should quit, I would get some random encouragement that I couldn’t mistake for anything else but God telling me to keep going.
I wasn’t getting any younger, though. Would I ever see my novel published?
I didn’t stop writing, and while I was waiting to see what would happen with Fairyeater, I indie published Willoughby and the Terribly Itchy Itch.
Then Fairyeater got picked up! Woohoo! Twelve years after I started writing it, Fairyeater got picked up by Love2ReadLove2Write Publishing! And another Willoughby book came out.
And during all this time, the thought I should stop writing would occasionally flit through my thoughts. And every time, I got encouragement. A note. A review. A gift.
Four months before my 60th birthday (which is in 3 days!), my very first novel debuted! It never would have happened if I gave up. We can never give up if we truly believe God has called us to something. The thing is that it often doesn’t happen when WE think it should. We forget God is not bound by time, so He’s not always in a hurry. Know what I mean?
And get this … in January, I was going through the “maybe I should stop writing” thought process yet again, and you know what happened? One of my best friends gave me a gift. A garden statue she found at a yard sale. It could be either an angel or a fairy. Doesn’t matter. What matters is what it says and what she’s doing.
The base of the statue says, “Mustard Seed,” and she’s leaning forward, hands by her mouth, clearly shouting. My friend said, “It looks like she’s proclaiming something.”
And *BAM* there was God’s voice in my heart. “You have something to proclaim through your writing! Just have faith!”
Get it? Mustard Seed???
We human beings can be so dense.
Don’t give up, friends. No matter how long or hard you feel your writing is going (or NOT going). No matter your age. No matter how many rejections. Don’t give up. Keep going. The only thing that will guarantee your story not being published is if you quit.
More about Pam Halter.
Pam Halter has been a children’s book author since 1995. She published two picture books, Beatrice Loses Her Doll and Beatrice’s New Clothes (Concordia, 2001), Willoughby and the Terribly Itchy Itch (Fruitbearer Kids, 2017), and Willoughby and the Lumpy Bumpy Cake (Fruitbearer Kids, 2018). She was selected to attend the Highlights Whole Novel Workshop for Fantasy, May 2010, received Writer of the Year in 2014 at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference, won the Reader’s Choice Award in a short story contest hosted by Realm Makers and Brimstone Fiction in 2015, and the Pacesetter’s Award at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference in 2018.
Willoughby and the Terribly Itchy Itch won a Realm Award, July 2018.
Her first YA fantasy novel, Fairyeater, was released through Love2ReadLove2Write Publishing on October 25, 2018.
Pam also is a children’s book freelance editor and the children’s book editor for Fruitbearer Kids (www.fruitbearer.com).
Look for Willoughby Goes A Wee Bit Batty, coming this spring!
Connect with Pam!
Pam hosts 2 blogs on her personal website www.pamhalter.com