I am in a period of waiting right now. You see, I have a couple of manuscripts, one fiction and one non-fiction, that are in the hands of publishers. Although I know there's a good chance that both will be declined, I still have a sense of hope, anticipation, wondering, and an endless thought train of what ifs. Rejection is something which, as someone who loves to write, I know I will face again and again. I am currently reading an autobiographical series by an author who wrote one of my favorite childhood novels, A Wrinkle in Time, and learned that she went through a period over a decade long when everything she wrote was turned down. But to say it doesn't sting when you get that email, that letter in the mail (although those are rare these days) saying that your work essentially isn't good enough, isn't what they're looking for, etc… well, that would be a lie. It does. It's as though you're giving away a little piece of yourself and having someone hand it back to you, saying, "No thanks, you're not what we had in mind."
Basically, declination plants a seed of doubt. It makes me wonder if what I'm doing is simply a waste of time. This is a question I've asked myself numerous times. Is there something more valuable I should be doing with the hours I spend in front of the laptop? The kids are usually in bed, but I have a wonderful husband to whom I am devoted, an endless pile of laundry that doesn't ever seem to shrink in size, dishes, and the list can go on and on. But when I sit up late at night, I read books by some of my favorite writers, and I think how there are certain paperbacks which have been like a long-lost friend to me, then yes. I must write, even if no one ever thinks my work is good enough to spend money printing it on a page. I am happier when I am spinning words together into something which, perhaps one day, will be sitting on someone's nightstand next to their cup of camomile tea.
I believe that God gives us all different passions and gifts to be used for his glory, and my ultimate goal is for my writing to draw people closer to Him. I've gone for months without putting anything on the printed page, but I wasn't a very pleasant person to be around during those months and my husband, who is my encouragement and my strength, tells me I am a better wife when I take time to devote to this very cathartic activity.
Sometimes I will wake up in the middle of the night with words literally brimming out of my brain, begging to me let out onto the page, refusing to let me rest until I put it in writing, jot it down, anything to get the thoughts out of my head and into the tangible. So yes, I will continue to write. I will pursue this God given dream. I will trek through the terrain which often leads to wilderness in pursuit of the unknown. I will pray continually, give thanks in everything, and if the God to which I raise my hands is as big as I know He is, maybe, just maybe, a rumbling which started as a 3:30 wake up call will end up by your lamp stand and your cup of nightly aromas.
"...What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."