August 6, 2020

The door won't budge

Over two months ago, I began the grueling agent querying process for the forth time in my writing career and let me tell you, it never gets easier. In fact, it gets more brutal. I'm not sure what's worse, the onslaught of form letters from agents passing on your work or crickets.

On top of that, it's been tough standing on the sidelines watching many of my writer friends getting agents and publishing deals while I continue getting passed over. It's exhausting fighting through the self doubt, the jealousy and the feelings of failure.

And friends, the rejections just keep coming. I did send out an enormous batch of queries for this last book. I even had a running tally of FIVE passes on a single day -- a new record for me! By the end of the day, my husband and I were just laughing.

In the midst of all of this, I tried working on my next book. But I ended up in a spin cycle. I wrote at least five different outline structures, some in-depth character explorations, talked it out with my husband and made a bunch of false starts. I just couldn't get into the story. I couldn't override the screaming voice saying, "nobody wants to work with you, so why bother..."

So, I had to shelf the new idea.

In fact, I had to shelf every last one of my writing ambitions and dreams.

You think this would be heartbreaking, but it's been a huge relief. I have experienced a peace that surpasses all understanding. Because I finally surrendered to the abundantly obvious:

It's time to stop pushing on this door because it's not going to open. 

I guess I've held onto writing young adult for so long because I've invested a lot of time and money into this endeavor. Twenty books. That's a lot of words. A lot of shoulder and neck pain.

Once again, I'm back in the hallway. The long and endless hallway. The place where trust and faith and full reliance on God is required if I'm to endure waiting for Him to open any doors. Some days I have absolute peace around all of it. Other days I question everything.

I don't know what's next for my writing journey. Whether or not this is a pit stop or the end of the line. The good news is, I have put down the battering ram.