As well as being a member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship, I also belong to The Word Guild and American Christian Fiction Writers (yes, I'm Canadian!). And I’m privileged to be part of an amazing online critique and encouragement group as well as one that's face-to-face. It’s a fine way to meet fellow writers, keep up with news, and stay encouraged.
Lots of writing friends—this is great. We understand and support one another like non-writers can’t. We’ve cheered one another on, we know how hard the journey is, and when one of them gets published, I think it’s almost as exciting as if it were my manuscript being accepted.
I can honestly say my first response is happiness for the new contract. I cheer and punch the air, and send a sincerely gleeful congratulatory email—364 days of the year.
The other 24 hours tend to spread out in small increments across the year. I’m still glad for whoever’s book will now be published and I wouldn’t want to take that away from them, but will it ever be my turn? Why is it happening for everyone else instead?
I had one of “those” hours not long ago and the Lord reminded me of Jesus telling Peter in effect, “If I want John to stay alive until I come back, that’s My business. You tend to yours.”
I had to choose to accept it, and to repeat it to myself regularly for the next while, but the message was clear: He has a plan for each writer, and the only plan that concerns me is mine. If he wants others to be published and not me, that’s His call. He’s the Shepherd, the chief Author.
And I can rest in the knowledge that if He’s preparing me for a publishing contract, it will happen—in His way and time. All I have to do is keep working so I’ll be ready. In the mean time He’s given me lots of friends to enjoy—both real and imaginary :-)
PS I do have a Christmas short story online this month in this month's Christian Fiction Online magazine in Dee Stewart's Multicultural Fiction column. It’s called “Too Much to Ask?” and is written under the pen name of Joanna Mallory.
© Janet Sketchley, 2009
For devotionals, reviews and conversation, stop by Janet Sketchley's blog, God with Us: Finding Joy.