I couldn’t believe it. Someone had sneaked into my office and in the middle of my manuscript had written:
You are making a mistake.
You are a missionary. You should be spending your time evangelizing, not writing fiction.
You are wasting God’s time.
And frankly, right then…I thought they were right. See, hubs and I and our four children were living in Siberia, working as church-planting missionaries. Sharing the gospel, assisting short term mission teams and helping local bodies of believers build church buildings. I was homeschooling our four children and teaching ESL to Russians using the Bible.
And, I was trying to get published. I’m not sure why—I loved my “job” as a wife, mother and missionary. But God had ignited inside me a desire to tell stories of faith, romance and adventure, and I couldn’t seem to douse it.
Still, I was getting nowhere. I’d written four novels. All got rejected. I’d recently sent in a novella to a contest, but with the mail service in Siberia, it probably got thrown in some circular file.
He was probably right. Rude, but right.
There comes a time in our writing life when it feels like we’re getting nowhere. We’ve written manuscripts that our friends love…and publishers reject. Or maybe we’ve indie published and we’re getting no traction with readers. We’ve written and rewritten and right now…well, maybe we need to admit we’ve made a mistake.
We could press on, believing that our moment, our dreams, will come to fruition.
Because if we do…we might just get here:
In case you’re not a football fanatic, (like me), that’s Nick Foles. The BACK UP Quarterback for the Philadelphia EAGLES. The guy who just led his team to a Super Bowl Victory. The MVP of the team.
Last year, Nick Foles almost retired from football. Because, see, although he played football at the same Austin, TX high school as Drew Brees, although he was a Pac-12 stand out QB for Arizona, (coming off the bench to score his starting spot) he wasn’t recognized as a NFL superstar. Although he had good ratings when he got in the game, football seemed to conspire against him. Injury, second-team starts, trades to the Rams, then the Chiefs, and finally as a backup QB again for the Eagles. He got his chance when starting QB Carson Wentz went down, injured in week 14.
Let me just add that, on average, Foles won games. He completed passes. He was very good at his job. (in other words, he told a great story!)
He just never got his chance to shine.
When the Chiefs released him as a free agent 2 seasons ago, (that’s football talk for a publisher’s rejection), he thought seriously about giving up.
Reflecting on his career crossroads on the biggest night of his career, Foles, 29, said: “I think as people, we deal with struggles. And that was a moment in my life where I thought about it, and I prayed about it. I’m grateful that I made the decision to come back.” (Evening Standard,02/05/18)
Yeah, I’ll bet.
I have always said that getting published isn’t magic—it’s hard work. It’s not giving up. It’s seeing the big picture that your journey is worth the fight.
Nick Foles, by the way, is a Christian. As is Carson Wentz, as is Zach Ertz, (who made the winning touchdown), as is the coach of the Eagles (as are others on the team). And they all thanked God for the win yesterday. Does God care who won the Super Bowl? I don’t think so. Does He care who gets the glory? You bet. I don’t think it’s a leap to suggest that Foles trusted in God’s plan for his success, and that God used his trust to do something amazing.
Do you believe that you’ve been called to do this? If so, then don’t listen to the rejection, the discouragers, the people who think: You could be doing something better with your time.
There’s no time better spent than the one following God’s call on your life.
Keep honing your skills. Keep playing. Be ready to be put in the game.
Congratulations, Nick Foles and the rest of the Eagles. Well done. Keep saying YES to God.
Your story matters! Go, write something brilliant!
P.S. If you’re working on a story that contains romance—whether it be a thread, or a full out story—you need to know HOW to build it. Did you know that a great romance is layered on top of regular story structure? Or that knowing the 2 basic romantic structures can streamline your entire plot? Learn this and soooooo much more in our 6 hour seminar, Learn how to write a Brilliant Romance. ON SALE UNTIL VALENTINES DAY for $100 OFF! (and yes, we have a payment plan!) Get the BRILLIANT ROMANCE SEMINAR here.(Click on the Link. Or use the coupon code: LOVE18 at checkout!)
(And, if you want to read more about the Eagles and their faith: https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900009342/nfl-players-using-super-bowl-spotlight-as-a-platform-to-share-their-christian-faith.html)