Friday, June 26, 2015

Que Sera Sera by Glynis M. Belec

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.  Proverbs 16:3

Success is failure turned inside out. Not sure where I heard that before but I remember thinking how true that statement is.
As a writer it is far too tempting, though, to toss in the towel the minute the rejection slip appears in the inbox. When I see that nasty rebuff probably the farthest thing from my mind is to burst into my best Doris Day  ‘Que Sera Sera’ moment and move on.
 Because I am human and I thrive on words of affirmation, I used to always read FAILURE when my writing was rejected.  Even though I have been writing professionally for a very long time, I still second guess my writing ability when that happens. I know in my heart and I constantly remind other writers  that a rejection slip can mean many things but with that initial sinking feeling, my brain often goes through a mini grieving process. I’m getting better, but admittedly, I wonder if I should maybe give up trying when I initially digest a rejection.

1.      Denial – they can’t really mean they don’t want my work. Surely they didn’t read it properly.
2.      Anger – Doesn’t the editor know how hard I worked on this manuscript? This is really unfair. I know this is exactly what she needs. I followed the guidelines and did everything I was supposed to do. What could be wrong?
3.      Bargaining - okay, maybe I should have studied the magazine a little more. Perhaps I didn’t quite have the same tone as the other pieces. But I thought mine might be new and refreshing.
4.      Depression –  I feel so unmotivated. I guess I should stick to something that I know brings in x amount of money. I sure would love to contribute a regular set income but this writing life is so unpredictable. What if I never make it? How come others are successful and I am just muddling by?
5.      Acceptance – Okay, I had better stop feeling sorry for myself. Time to file that rejection slip. (Why do I keep them all? Why don’t I just toss them?) Maybe it wasn’t me. Maybe it’s time I stopped taking rejection as a personal affront.  Que Sera Sera, whatever will be, will be.

     This process used to drag on for days but now I think I go through it at lightning speed. I think what has helped me get through rejections and disappointments in my writing career, is realizing that my definition of success was flawed. God is the One who defines true success and when I burrow into the Word I see that He sets no limit on success. Society tells us that fame and fortune equal success. God demonstrates to us that success is a commitment to the Lord.

The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master. His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord caused all that he did to succeed in his hands. Genesis 39:2-3

     Turns out, according to this scripture, the key to success is obedience and giving all our ventures over to the Lord. Things started out a little rocky for Joseph but I am thinking that most scholars and ordinary folk agree that the young Egyptian lad was successful.

     How about you? Worried about the rocky roads of writing and those pesky rejections? Does it sometimes feel like you are in a pit? Don’t fret. No pit too deep for God’s reach. Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. Trust, obey, work hard and pray. Fall in love with what you are doing and you will find true success. 
     Another rejection? Grieve quickly then move on. 

     Now to practise what I preach! 

     Que Sera Sera. . .

Glynis lives, loves, laughs and does an awful lot of reading, writing, publishing and praying in her home office. Her latest children's book - Hopeful Homer offers hope and encouragement to anyone who might find herself in 'the pit'. 

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Peter Black said...

Helpful hints from your wide experience! Thanks Glynis. I haven't done a great amount of querying and proposing to acquisitions editors / publishers, therefore my rejections have been relatively few. But I do know the feeling.
Possibly the kindest and warmest rejection letter I've received was from the late Dan Penwell of AMG Publishers. One couldn't be let down more gently. I think of him fondly, although I met him only about three times. ~~+~~

Rose McCormick Brandon said...

Oh boy - you're reading my journals lol - I'm sure every writer identifies with the feelings that follow rejection - even Joseph, though he had the Lord's favour, experienced it. Good job Glynis.

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