On my way up to the writer’s conference I volunteered to swing by the airport and pick up one of the speakers.
Attending a writer’s conference is like reliving the first week of college where there is a fairly standard greeting. Instead of where are you from and what’s your major, however, the greeting is more along the lines of “so, do you write fiction or non-fiction?”
Larry isn’t an author but a author consultant and as we pulled out of town he asked me about my book proposals.
I pitched the first idea at him. “Too bad you’re not Bill Hybels, that idea would sell if you were a mega-church pastor. What else do you have?”
I pitched another idea. “If you were Beth Moore, that idea would sell.”
And now I will be Captain Obvious, I am neither Bill Hybels or Beth Moore. I don’t have a mega-church or mega-hair. Seen from one angle, this was a rather
depressing sobering conversation on the realities of publishing and selling (and no real surprises). Seen from another, it was freeing. No, I’m not Bill or Beth and I never will be. So instead of trying to be them, I need to keep my eyes on God and be me.
Authors are not the only ones to experience rejection (Captain Obvious again). Shawn Smucker is hosting a series now called #OvercomeRejection. The series started out as a place to encourage writers who have experienced rejection but has morphed into anyone over coming rejection.
Ever wonder how The Messy Middle got started? Well, it wasn’t just my writing that was rejected, it was me. I’m over at Shawn’s sharing the back story and would love for you to pop over and learn about the lovely phase of my life leading up to the birth of this blog (sarcasm about it being lovely). When you’re there, poke around, Shawn is an author I respect and enjoy and think you will too.
Your messy reject, :), Amy
Thanks for the reminder that rejection doesn’t have to be a bad thing-it is freeing b/c I can only be me & in Abba that is more than enough:)
Find myself in a similar spot you were a few years back with my supervisor and the continual barrage of “you need to tow the line,” has been disparaging for me.
Still pluggin’ along,
Pluggin’ with you sister!! :)
I know for one, I am ALWAYS encouraged by your writing. In fact, it’s really the way I’ve come to know & love you. Reject? I don’t think so. I’m a fan!! Always will be. The way you say things matters…at least to me (& my crew.) Keep it coming :)
Oh Kelli, thanks. I just wish we lived closer to each other!
Mary DeMuth (@MaryDeMuth) says
And…this is why I love you and I adore your amazing writing. Keep at it, friend. Keep your small hair and your small church. I love you just the way you are.
Mary, I have learned so much from you about being myself, offering up who I am even if some parts aren’t what others like, and to encourage, encourage, encourage others!
Susan Gaines says
Amy, no need to tell you what I’m really thinking about your question because there’s no need to put down one to raise another. It is your blog I read today. It is your blog on which I add comments. It is your insightful and thought provoking perspective I seek. I don’t know what it is you do to support yourself these days, but I hope it doesn’t hinge on being published. Not for your lack. At this stage of life & learning (I’m 65), I don’t wish fame (something I used to crave) on anyone. On the other hand, I would like others to read you. What a tricky dilemma. I’ve shared your blog many times over with those I thought would appreciate and benefit from your views and expressions of your thoughts. I certainly do.
Susan, I appreciate your words. Deeply. And they made me smile. I’ll admit that when I first started this blog it was with the hope of bringing in a bit of extra income. Mostly because I was so CLUELESS about the industry :). It’s funny to see how God can change one’s heart. While I wouldn’t turn down money, it’s no longer much of a consideration at all. However, interacting with and influencing people (and being influenced), is much more important to me. with blessing, Amy
What a wonderful blog today! I’ve joined LinkedIn and wouldn’t you know authors and editors constantly pick arguments with those of us that are yet to find the person to publish us.
I detest the superiority attitudes I hear from most writer’s. You ARE NOT one of them! I adore your perspectives and unique views expressed so eloquently.
I put it to you this way, it’s nice to be published and earn a living that way. That being said like you that isn’t God’s plan for me or my writing at this time. This doesn’t mean it never is, just not now.
Yet true to the writer you are letting it rip on your blog with blessed thoughts, emotions, and really helpful words.
That’s the gift my friend!
Your blog is a blessing and your launching pad, all be it just a different picture than I suspect you see in your mind’s eye.
Remember me as I will remember you fondly.
Should I publish first you are at the top on my list of people I intend to reach out to and bring into the same attentive light. After all isn’t that really what God wants us to do, serve by helping those that touch us every bit as much as those we’d rather not.
My role is not so much to make a name for myself as it is to reach a hand out to those in the same ocean of life.
Blessings my friend, always blessings… Aashdoda
Thanks Aashoda! What’s tricky is I know they are also trying to make a living — and at least most in the industry aren’t “jerks” — they just don’t want to “donate” money to unknown authors. Sigh. And yet, as you said, there is a sweet, sweet way words are used far beyond just earning money. And yes to praying for one another!
Thank you, Amy, for your transparency and for sharing your story. Thanks for being YOU and for not abandoning your writing. I especially liked your line: “So instead of trying to be them, I need to keep my eyes on God and be me.” This is an important thing for me to remember as I often struggle with comparing myself to others or to what I think others expect me to be. I need to be looking to God, not to others, and to be content in who He has made me to be!
Yup! That’s it, isn’t it :)? There’s always someone else to compare ourselves to, isn’t there? But that is a path that leads to death. Death of joy, of contentment, of being satisfied. And it’s a reminder I need again and again :)
As always, your writing helps me feel that I’m not alone,…I also have this syndrome of feeling like I have big ideas, but not a big name to go with them. Maybe I can swing by for coffee in Denver and we can figure it all out in a “not Beth Moore” club.
Carol Giles says
Amy, Amy, Amy,
You are talkin to the choir of one here. When I went to Writers on the Rock, and was told I needed to build MY platform, when I got home that night, I was ready to throw in the towel. Sunday, ready to dig in again. So, I figure I’ll pop for the dough, and go to Estes – Alas, wedding, this family thing and that – not going to happen this year either. I will keep pluggin along; even though I am 71 going on 72, have grey hair, an immediate family of 27, which keeps me hoppin,
and ….. well I will continue to write for the only critic I care about, and one who already knows I’m not famous – God!
By the way, you are hilarious.