“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.”
About this time last year I was in the thick of revisions on my poetry book. I had just received my rejection letter from Deseret and I was bound and determined that the next submission would be successful.
My last chance at publication, I decided, was to try Covenant Communications. They were the only other LDS publisher that would be willing to even look at a book of children’s poetry. After discovering this by checking out the submission guidelines on their website, I downloaded their Author Questionnaire.
For those of you who have looked at, and possibly filled out this questionnaire, you might know what a daunting experience it can be. It asks about your published works, any writing workshops/conferences you’ve attended, professional writing training you’ve received, your ability to market and sell your book, etc. As I looked over the questions and my mind searched for anything that could even remotely make me sound like I knew what I was doing, I began to feel smaller and smaller.
Well, after my first few gung-ho weeks of revisions, and with the questionnaire looming in the background, my enthusiasm began to taper off as I got bigger and pregnanter with my 4th child. The summer came, my kids were out of school, and baby was due any day. She came, we celebrated, I basked in the glow of newbornness (are you loving these words I’m making up left and right?) and I left my poetry book (and that questionnaire) tucked away in a virtual drawer.
After the craziness of the holidays had passed and New Years Resolutions began to be made, I decided it was time to open that virtual drawer and see where I was with my manuscript and that crazy questionnaire. But this time when I picked it up I actually had something worthwhile to put down. Like getting published in the Friend magazine. And attending a writing workshop. And writing a script for my stake. And having a short story scheduled for publication in an anthology book in the spring.
As I began deleting out my old, trying-really-hard-to-not-seem-like-a-total-doofus answers and replacing them with actual concrete proof that yes, I may actually be a real writer, I began to feel buoyed up. I couldn’t help but feel that the last year had been carefully scheduled by the Lord, and that what I’d thought was a hiatus was really just a germination period. My “career” (sorry about the quotation marks, it just feels weird to call it that) was growing and developing around me, sprouting from the seeds I’d sown the year before.
Granted, it’s still just a tiny sprout, no big leaves or flowers or anything, but at least there are signs of life. And I know that as I continue to plant more seeds and wait on the Lord, eventually it will bloom.