On January 10th I started an exercise program that, according to the bookcover, would theoretically enable me to lose two sizes in four weeks. I don’t have to tell you when you tell a woman she can lose two clothing sizes in four weeks, you have her attention.
Guess what happened! Nothing! Not only have I not lost two sizes, I haven’t lost one. After doing everything the book said to do, I haven’t lost one measly inch off my entire body. On a brighter note, I haven’t gained either. And that’s saying something considering I have the appetite of an offensive lineman.
Even after three and a half months, I still believe in the program. Everything about it makes sense. While I haven’t lost inches, the neck pain that used to wake me up in the middle of the night has disappeared. My husband is even following the program after years of begging him to get into an exercise routine. He’s losing inches even though he only does the workout half as often as me. Don’t you just hate men? But after three months of disappointment, I believe results can happen. It’s just taking me longer than anyone else on the planet.
Which reminds me of our writing careers. Even though I think I am doing everything right with the exercise program, I am missing something. Maybe you are experiencing the same thing with your writing. You have attended all the right conferences. You’ve read the right books. You’ve studied the market and fine-tuned the life out of your manuscript. But still you can’t get the attention of the publishing world.
Sometimes success seems like it’s beyond our control. Perhaps it is. For a season. There are always things going on inside our bodies that determine when and where we hold on to excess inches. There are also things going on inside the publishing industry that we can’t control. For a season. Maybe this isn’t the time for your manuscript. Maybe you need a little more training. Maybe your book isn’t as ready to seek a publisher as you think. Maybe you have done absolutely everything right, your book is pure genius, but God says the time isn’t right. For a season.
My body will eventually let go of those excess inches if I continue my exercise routine. Even if I never get down to a size 4–I don’t expect that–I no longer have muscle spasms in my neck while brushing my hair that make me cry out in pain. That alone makes those mornings in front of my television contorting my body worth it. Perhaps what you envision for your writing career is not what God has in store for you. Don’t despair. God always has greater plans for us than we can even imagine.
Keep writing. Keep fine tuning and studying the market. Don’t give up. You may never reach super-stardom, but you will achieve what God has in store for you if you only do your part and let Him handle the details.
Have a great weekend.