By Donna Schlachter
Do you sometimes feel, in trying to get your book published, that you’re rattling at one locked door after another? Perhaps you’re struggling to find an agent, or maybe you’ve been submitting directly to publishers and gotten nothing except rejections. Or worse, silence.
It’s okay. We’ve all been there. Some of us are still there. And we understand that while we trust God to open doors that nobody else can close, and to close doors that we aren’t to go through, we also know that when the door is open, we have to walk through. God won’t drag us kicking and screaming. He’s too much of a gentleman for that.
So what are we to do? Following are three things to focus on as you go through this process of unlocking the doors to publication:
1. Pray. Seriously. Seek the Lord as to His direction for you. Perhaps He has a better plan for you right now. Maybe He’s holding back on publication because He knows that’s not the best thing for you. I believe He delayed my publication path because He knew that I am an all-or-nothing kind of person: if I got a contract, life in our household would have to stop while I pursued and completed that project. And He had more important things for us to do during that time, including leadership in an international ministry.
2. Pause. If you’re anything like me, publication has been a main focus for your books, and anything else is second-best. I had to take a step back and ask myself why I wanted to publish a book. Was it to see my name on the cover? To show somebody I had what it took to be a writer? For fame and money? My first book, a devotional, was done as a work-for-hire project and my name wasn’t on the cover. It was in teensy-weensy little print on the inside. Talk about humbling. But this experience made me step back and ask why I wanted to publish. Which brings me to number three.
3. Praise. Yes, you read that right. Praise God for the gift he’s given you to string together words into stories that touch lives. Praise Him that He is writing the most important story in you right now, long before the written word gets on to the page. Praise Him that He would choose you to be the first person to hear this story. And Praise Him for using you to reach a lost world.
I truly believe that when we put our writing in the proper place in our lives-never above God, never above our spouse or family-then He will honor this calling to write and will reward our obedience. Your publishing path might be traditional or independent; it might be paper or digital; it might be full-time or part-time, but the important thing is that your path leads you-and others-to know more intimately the God of Words. He is the Word, and He has placed that Word in you to give to others.
So go ahead, unlock some doors. You have the keys you need.
Donna Schlachter writes historical suspense from Denver and contemporary suspense as Leeann Betts. She has ghostwritten several projects, but still gets a thrill out of seeing her name on the cover. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter, and at: www.HiStoryThruTheAges.wordpress.com and www.AllBettsAreOff.wordpress.com. Books available at Amazon.com.