Friday, May 1, 2015

Growing Pains


I've always been a dreamer - a dreamer with a huge imagination. In my heart of hearts, I always believed the dreams would come true. Because I lived in the misty world of imagination so much of the time, I didn't place enough emphasis on the practical side of dreams. I guess I just sort of thought if I did what I thought was my part - Shazam! - the dream would come true, especially if I prayed about it.

I recently described myself to a friend as a 4th of July Sparkler - a dazzling burst of light that quickly fades away to a little smoking stick. When the dream is birthed, I put my whole heart into it. However, if things don't go according to plan I quickly fizzle out. The fizzle is usually accompanied by a lot of whining and self-pity. Inevitably, the dream dies.

If you've read the little biography on my blog, you know I've written a book. Yes, an actual book - the dream I've been holding in my heart for years. I worked hard and prayed hard. I held it with open hands, or so I thought, and told the Lord to do with it as He willed. With the help of a very kind, talented friend I got it all spiffed up and ready to send off fully convinced the dream was about to come true.

Three rejections later, I was on the verge of fizzling. I confess, it's just like me. The stories of famous authors facing rejection after rejection didn't offer much comfort. The thought of writing another query letter and sending it off again made me want to go to bed and pull the covers over my head. Easier to believe the dream just wasn't meant to be.

I've been memorizing scripture as I walk in the morning. The other day it was Isaiah 41:10:

"Do not fear for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. 
  I will strengthen you. Surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

I recited it as I walked, but I kept leaving out the middle phrase: "I will strengthen you." Then that still, small voice: "I'm here for you, but you must do your part, dear one."

The words went deep. I don't imagine they were a guarantee of a literary agent suddenly calling with an offer to represent my little book (Okay. I really did imagine things like that before the first rejection letter arrived.) I believe I'm on a journey. I don't know where it will end, but I'm going to try my best to run hard and not give up - not just for this dream but for all the dreams to come.

Blessings,
Linda

P.S. I know I said I would try to write more regularly, but I had a hard time writing this week because - that third rejection letter :) Still trying!




4 comments:

meema said...

I, too, was a starry-eyed dreamer. At the top of my dreamer to do list, was being published because I truly believed the pinnacle of achievement was holding the fruits of writing passion in my hand in the form of a book, the only possible proof my passion was deemed worthy of being in print. In my forming years, while my friends were idolizing rock stars, my admiration secretly went to my favorite authors. That’s how weird I am. However, while I was a dreamer, being INTJ, I also was practical and never allowed my secret longing to prevent me from moving on to do the things I could do. The dream always ached in the shadows though. In my reverence I had created a mountain of being published. A mountain I felt I could never nor would ever conquer.

Sometimes dreams inspire progress and sometimes they hinder it.

Eventually the day came when I had the time and inclination to do what I do best–study the problem, which it was, and find my workaround. The two year process of digging into the real world of publishing did some serious damage to my starry-eye view. The first truth hit me hard. It’s just a business, after all, not a religious calling. I have to admit I was sorely disappointed. It was like finding out your hero is merely mortal.

I could write a book about my journey. Pun intended. But cutting to the chase, the point of this is to let you know you have options. Options offer hope. Hope rallies. Hope finishes what dreams only dream about.

Linda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda said...

Thanks so much for taking the time to share this. You always encourage and bless. I need to get a bit more "gumption" I think. I tend to give up far too easily.
Yes, it's true, hope finishes.

Ann Kroeker said...

I love that you see this as an opportunity for growth, seeing God strengthening you through it. Finding the right home for a manuscript will often mean we're faced with multiple rejections simply because it isn't the right place or the right time. Or maybe you caught the editor or agent on a bad day when they'd spilled gasoline on their shoes or coffee on their keyboard, and they felt like rejecting everything that day. They're only human. :)

I hope one day you do indeed find the right home for your story, and that when it finally finds its way into the hands of readers, they'll say, 'This is exactly what I've always wanted to read!"