Five Hundred and One – Encouragement for Unpublished Authors

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By: SK Derban

My long-term goal of becoming a published author was finally realized after more than two decades. It’s hard to remember how many times I thought about quitting, and that was before I started writing my first manuscript. Although I wanted to write directly out of college God had other plans for me. He knew I needed grooming, and also pruning before embarking on such a challenging career.

The Lord accomplished His pruning by forcing me to wait on Him:

Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! NKJV Psalm 27:14

He then increased my strength throughout my professional career. I functioned as an executive in the business community of both real estate, and real property law. Looking back I now recognize how the Lord used this experience to prepare me for the complexities of becoming a full-time writer. It served to polish my communication skills, strengthen my resolve, and multiply our savings. Now, at this season in my life I write because it gives me a peace that surpasses all understanding:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. NKJV Philippians 4:6-7 

I previously juggled one career while squeezing in time to write, and finally completed my first manuscript. It was time to begin the grueling task of seeking representation. I never dreamed the process would take years. It is humbling, exasperating, and exhausting! God directed me to maintain a steady income while navigating the entire submission process. It definitely paid to listen:

Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left. NKJV Isaiah 30:21

After over one hundred submissions I signed with a literary agent. Fortunately I still had my day job as she went out of business in less than three months! Alas, I began again:

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. NKJV Colossians 3:23

Was it easy? No! (Picture me pulling my hair out and screaming.) I did not feel a peace about self-publishing, but I also wondered how many queries the Lord expected me to send. So I kept on submitting, hoping for either an acceptance, or a different sign from God. I can imagine the Lord laughing at me from Heaven! Whenever I felt myself growing weary I turned to the Book of Isaiah:

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. NKJV Isaiah 40:31

It took five hundred and one submissions for me to receive the most rewarding email possible. For No Apparent Reason was accepted. I was accepted, and soon to be a published author!

Please remember that you are not alone, especially if you are grappling with your present career while striving to achieve success as a writer. Many of us have journeyed along the same road. I encourage you to trust in God no matter your season in life:

Trust in the Lord with all you heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your path. NKJV Proverbs 3:5-6

May God fill your lives with blessings beyond blessings! I wish you enduring success!


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S.K. Derban resides with her husband in Southern California. Beginning with her faith in the Lord, Derban’s personal travel adventures, and missionary escapades are readily apparent as they shine through into her writing. She hopes her books will allow readers to go on holiday without having to pack!





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