Monday, October 22, 2007

My Desire

Today has been a day for rejections. First I found out that a short story I submitted to Brain, Child was turned down. This is the third time that has happened. Should I give up? Is this a recurring theme? Am I just bad at writing short stories? These thoughts all popped into my head. The funny thing is, just last night at dinner with friends, I "confessed" that my most favorite thing to write is fiction! But I also said that fiction is one area I don't feel like God has confirmed I am supposed to be writing-- not that He has given me the word that I am not supposed to be doing it, but I just haven't had a lot of confirmations in that field of writing. And then this. You know, no matter how many rejections you get, they never stop feeling like a dagger to the heart.

Then I went over to P31 for a luncheon in honor of one of our out of town speaker team members who was in town. Her visit was just the excuse we needed to get together and gab and just laugh. It is always fun to be with those girls! After an afternoon of laughter and fun, everyone dispersed, I ran carpool and came home to find one of "those" letters in the mail. I have learned to recognize them by now. And so, I got another rejection for the proposal I submitted for a book idea I was working on this summer and submitted at both She Speaks and ICRS. So far, I have had no takers. I was semi hopeful that this house would take it, but no dice. It just never gets any easier-- and especially two in one day.

And also, while we are on the subject, I didn't win the Writer's Digest writing competition either. Didn't even place. Not that I was expecting to with over 17,000 entries. But still.

I made a promise when I started this blog that I would document my publishing journey-- the good, the bad, and the ugly. Not just the good stuff. Because that isn't realistic-- but does it have to take so long?? Does it have to hurt every time I hear no?? Even when I know that God is still in control and that this wasn't His timing-- or whatever.

And so, just as I was about to break into a chorus of "nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I'll go eat worms" (that was for you Lysa!) this song came on my Ipod. And I had to say, "Ok, God, yes. I need to keep my focus where it needs to be. Thanks for the reminder." The truth is, He is using me. The Truth is I just spent an afternoon with some awesome ladies I get to do life with because of my desire to be used by Him. The truth is, tonight I get to go spend some time with my Momtourage ladies-- and hopefully we will be used by Him to minister to each other and breathe some fresh wind in each other's sails.

My desire hasn't and will not change-- no matter how many rejections I get.

Here are the lyrics to that song, in case you want to see them:

"My Desire"
You want to be real
You want to be empty inside
You want to be someone laying down your pride
You want to be someone someday
Then lay it all down before the King
You want to be whole
You want to have purpose inside
You want to have virtue and purify your mind
You want to be set free today then lay it all down before the King
This is my desire
This is my return
This is my desire to be used by you

You want to be real
You want to be emptied inside
And I know my heart is to feel you near
And I know my life
It's to do your will
It's to do your will
All my life I have seen where you've taken me
Beyond all I have hoped and there's more left unseen
There's not much I can do to repay all you've done so I give my hands to use

Lyrics from:
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Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing the good and the bad. I have had a day very similiar to yours! Sometimes they seem like weeks. God is using you even when you don't always see it. Blessings.

Billie said...

I am blown away. I have recently becomed "hooked" on your blog. I honestly don't even recall how I came across it. Regardless, it's late at night and I'm tired. But, I decided to catch up with it. Your honesty hit me to the core. You see, I have been toying with the idea of writing. What I will write? I have no idea...but I can't shake the idea. I am beginning to think that it is a God inspired idea, but then the voices start.."you can't do it"..."there are sooo many people out there with more ability than you". So, I've been praying that God would direct me and inspire me and encourage me where I need to be. Your discouragement has been my encouragement. It "shut up" the enemy's voice in my head for a little. It helped me to feel that not everyone else is perfect and that it will take some work. So, thank you for your words of honesty. THat is why I want to encourage women with our own realities. Thanks again for sharing yours!

Dana said...

I am so glad you shared this. I would be afraid for me the "no's" would be too much and I would quit. I need to see that it is a part of the whole picture. And in the end, God's complete sovereignty - uses it for His glory. Something to write about later (or like you did on the blog) and encourages us all.
Thank yo for sharing!!!

Heather@Mommymonk said...

Oh Marybeth! Thank you for being real - I needed to hear your heart today. It's such a neverending struggle trying to figure out this writing business - perseverance, patience and tenacity are required, but sometimes lacking in me. You keep going and that gives me courage to keep on too. THANKS!

Lysa TerKeurst said...

My dear friend...
All I can say is to continue to operate in the truth. The truth is you are a fantastic writer (and all your blog reading pals say AMEN!) The truth is a publishing house will be lucky to have you one day. The truth is you are a best kept secret who will one day be a best selling author. That desserves another AMEN!
Love you friend...
ps... it's so dry right now that the worms aren't tasting so good. Take it from someone who herself has had a few I'm gonna eat some worms days!

Lauren at Faith Fuel! said...

Thanks for letting us know the real questions we all ask and deliberate over. (I think you SHOULD try writing fiction- you could develop a character well! We would KNOW her, I'm sure, and recognize so much of our perplexing struggles in her.)

Laura said...

Please don't "eat worms". You are lovely. I clicked on the link you provided to the magazine that rejected you...three times. I'd be so pleased for you to teach Brain, Child a thing or two through something you've written, but don't be surprised that they wouldn't label you as "progressive" enough for such a publication. Chin up!

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

Thanks for sharing honestly.

I have heard that short stories is THE hardest area to break through, so hang in there if it is indeed your desire. One tip I read once was to try anthologies. Many people don't think to submit to those and it's a great foot in the door.

Elisa @ Extravagant Grace said...

Marybeth, I continue to be blessed by you and your "realness." You continue to challenge me to be real and to be a risk-taker, too. I know rejection stinks royally, but you seem to handle it with such grace and a determination to not let it defeat you. You go girl! You've got Daniel's resolve--He knew what God wanted of Him and continued to live that out for Him alone! Don't give up, but keeping going on this faith walk. Your writing is beautiful, in His eyes and many of ours.


Lynn said...

God clearly gave me some things to write. . . Had me write them into a wonderful Bible Study . . . even taught it in Women's Bible Study at my church . . . . the freshness of perspective delighted the women, and they willingly shared how much they grew through it . . . publishers rejected it quickly. . . . That was a five years ago. I was so excited to be able to finally write -- I'm a grandmother now, and with a college degree in Journalism, you might imagine that doing this had been a long time dream. God certainly planted the seeds and gave words to my typing fingers -- then came the rejections. Some wise words were spoken over the situation just a few days before the biggest rejection arrived: "Your life is an open book, written for all to see." It was encouragement for the moment, but the thought comes back to me often. I believe God does honor our dreams . . . I'm thinking I'll dust off the manuscript again, and renew the journey to publication.