I received my fourth “no” from a literary agent today. It was the nicest so far and the one with the most feedback; although I still wish for more. I am still extremely thankful that I haven’t heard, “You’re a horrible writer” or “It’s just like everything else out there.” Until I read one of those responses, I will feel good. I believe in my story and feel that it is unique (I am aware that every writer thinks that) and I would hate to hear that I am horrible at something I love so much. I will keep trudging along the publishing road. I am learning a lot as I get to each step or obstacle along the path, and I am discovering some parts really are quite fun.
I remember when I first got an email account. I was so excited every time I clicked on the button to open my inbox or start my connection. I was excited to see or hear the words, “You’ve got mail.” I wondered which college friend had sent me something or if my boyfriend states away had emailed. That feeling soon faded. My email became work related and not very exciting. My friends resorted to leaving me posts on Facebook or Twitter. It just wasn’t as exciting to see what mail happened to be in the inbox. Things changed about a month ago when I started sending out queries to agents and publishers. I get excited to check my inbox again. The little flutter of anticipation has returned. I can’t wait for the site to load and read who has sent me a message. Is it a response to a query? Has an agent fallen in love with the précis of my book? Are they dying to read more?
So far the answers to those last two questions has been “no.” That is okay, for now. I am excited to be on this new adventure. I have things that give me joy and contentedness in my life, but it is fun to have an exciting entity to anticipate and dream about. It provides a lot of delight to my routine that can seem dull at times. It is one aspect of the writing road that I am thoroughly enjoying. I like suspense. I like adventure; and someday an agent, or a publisher, or maybe just a few readers will enjoy my Middle Grade Adventure book.
Since I am not only an aspiring author but also a Christian and a youth worker, I thought about all this in a different way as well. Sometimes our lives can be tough. We often hear the word “no” about things that are extremely important to us. “No, you didn’t get the job.” “No, the cancer isn’t gone.” “No, the car can’t be fixed.” “No, I don’t want to be your friend.” It is tough to hear the word and what sometimes follows. Life on this earth is rarely easy, but we can find joy about our adventure here when we know where to look. God doesn’t tell us “no.” He says, “Yes!” Yes to salvation, yes to forgiveness, yes to love, and yes to hope. He knows there is more to come, and he wants us to find true joy.
What can you be happy about in your life today? What simple things, like checking your inbox with hope in your heart, can put a smile on your face? Where are you finding the joy in whatever adventure you are on? I hope you can see it clearly and feel it abundantly.
Matthew 6:33 reminds us “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”