When No Becomes Yes

ACFW Advice, Authors and writing, Encouragement, Friends of ACFW, writing Leave a Comment

by Davalynn Spencer

During my first fiction-writer’s conference, I didn’t know what I was doing and I’m sure it showed. Hoo boy, but I did not want to be a rookie in a new field-a freshman-especially as a seasoned journalist with a master’s degree in my back pocket, two grown children, and the ability to parallel park and back up a goose-neck horse trailer.

But the next conference was not so overwhelming. A few more after that and I could finally narrow my focus on clear goals for what I needed and wanted to do as an author.
The Snowbound Bride
Lesson One: Don’t give up.

So I wrote a book targeted to a specific line and the editor rejected it. I submitted the same book to another editor, and she loved it.

Lesson Two: Rejection is often subjective.

Then I sold another book. I was on a roll, right?

Blushing with success, I answered a different publisher’s call for submissions to a novella collection, sharpened my fingers, and scratched out a story certain to make the cut. It did, but not the cut I expected.

“No thank you,” that publisher said.

Conflict. Goal thwarted.

Lesson Three: Back to the keyboard.

The story’s bones were solid, so I added flesh and blood (not a lot since I write Western romance sans vampires), and soon I had a good-sized novel. My agent submitted to a different publisher who loved it and wanted two more books to go with it.

Stunned, I plopped down at my desk to consider this face-to-face encounter with Romans 8:28. I’d just experienced a marvelous plot twist-something “bad” working into something “good.” No, wait, it wasn’t good, it was much better, beyond what I had hoped for or envisioned.

Lesson Four: Don’t give in to discouragement.

Without the “no,” I would not have experienced the great “yes” of a three-book contract. This same theme has popped up elsewhere in my life when detours to greater blessings come disguised as unanswered prayers.

The heroine in my upcoming Christmas novella from Barbour, “The Snowbound Bride,” is a lot like me: she doesn’t see the detour as a blessing until much later. And, also like me, she ends up blessed beyond what she ever envisioned.

Lesson Five: See Lesson One.

Davalyn Spencer OctoberDavalynn Spencer writes Western romance with cowboy heroes that take your breath away. Her Christmas novella, “The Snowbound Bride” releases December 15 as part of Barbour’s The 12 Brides of Christmas. She and her own handsome cowboy make their home on Colorado’s Front Range. Connect with Davalynn online at www.davalynnspencer.com.

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