January 17, 2011

A Renewed Focus

It is bewildering how your writing career is like a roller coaster ride. There’s a beginning followed by a continuum of peaks and valleys. Writing, be it novice or professional, is a learning process of developing skills, connecting with editors/publishers, timelines, creativity, disappointments and rejections to name a few.

What if there were few or no attempts put forth to garner those accomplishments and pitfalls that enable us to grow and stretch our abilities? Don’t rewards come from hard work and perseverance? Recently I hooked a magazine with my personal faith story and publication of a review of my book, A Journey to the Heart of Evangelism. Did it come easy? Not at all. My initial contact with the magazine was 10 months ago. I submitted a query about a review of my book and I waited for a response. It was 10 months of waiting and wondering and being placed on hold. In the middle of that came a change in their personnel department. I had to start from the beginning. My assignment was left in limbo, which added to the lengthy delay. Finally there were a few emails of decision making and the actual format and content of what they agreed they would print.

I could have easily given up in mid-stream but I felt the urge to press on. I persevered because, not only did I believe in my product, I wanted a clear answer. If the editor had decided that my query was unsuitable in the beginning I most certainly would have accepted that, but it was merely misconstrued dialogues. At any rate, I was surprised at the pending turn of events. I was most interested in getting my book review published but that connection led me to another opportunity. I received an email from another editor from the same magazine requesting my personal faith story. Wow! What a surprise. That was totally unexpected but I was equally delighted to submit my faith story.

Many times during the process I would ask myself, why do I continue to press on with this? Most people would have given up. I would stop and sigh after reading certain emails and responses from the magazine and then pick up and continue again. I believe God had a plan from the beginning. Publication of my personal faith story was His plan but it was oblivious to me. That was an exciting lesson to learn. I am so glad I followed through and forged ahead when it would have been easier to drop my submission and toss it into my own slush pile. Because of my perseverance, potentially thousands of readers will see and read my faith story. What’s more important and hopeful is that many will be impacted in some small way.

“Boys, there ain't no free lunches in this country. And don't go spending your whole life commiserating that you got the raw deals. You've got to say, I think that if I keep working at this and want it bad enough I can have it. It's called perseverance.”-- Lee Iacocca

My goals for this year include persevering with my submissions to various magazines with many of my unpublished articles. I also recently completed an audio book of my poems that I must focus on promoting. And, may I add, continue to wait upon God.

Janice Keats


  1. Yep, its often a 'waiting game' isn't it? Maybe God is teaching us about learning to wait on Him, too.

  2. Perseverence... a good reminder as we look to this new year.

    Wishing you God's best in your writing endeavours! And congrats on completing your audio book of poems.


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