October 27, 2014

What To Do When Our Writing Goes Up In Flames? by Melanie Fischer

What do you do if your hard work goes up in flames?

Be thankful for smoke signals.

It is better for ones writing piece to go up in flames and give off a smoke signal, than for it not to give off anything at all. It is easy to get wrapped up in the pain of rejections and miss the blessings which lay within them.

We writers tend to fear criticism and rejection, yet it is through this that we have the greatest opportunities for growth. When we pay attention to the signal that rejection is giving off, our skills develop in ways they could not otherwise do so. "Mistakes" give us chances for "retakes". Life's speed-bumps allow us to slow down when we may be spinning out of control. And, the long routes are the most scenic ones.

Maybe it was not God's timing. We certainly do not want to go against the Lord's time, which would cause greater grief than a rejection letter.

Maybe the words which were penned needs to go deeper. There is a tendency to keep our message shallow when we are digging into sensitive topics--depth has much greater impact on the reader.

Maybe the words that you thought you wrote for others, was instead, a message that you needed to hear.

No matter the reason why a piece is turned down, pay attention to what signal it is giving off. This is the way to learn, grow, stretch, strengthen and become who the Lord has created you to be. If you receive a rejection letter, you can crumple it up and use it to wipe away your tears. Or, you can fan the flames and receive clear smoke signals in order to understand how to be the best steward of this gift of writing that you can possibly be.

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."


  1. Thanks Melanie for finding the 'good' in rejection. It's not easy to fight the desire to throw that letter away. There are so many reasons why our piece is rejected and it isn't always because of something we did or did not do. God's timing is something we cannot control. But we can trust him if we believe our writing is a gift from him. We just have to keep writing!

  2. Hmmm. Smoke signals. I like your word pictures :) Rejections are hard to take, but, as you say, we need to learn to listen to the reason behind them. Thanks for the reminder, Melanie.

  3. I like your line, "the long routes are the most scenic ones." I've done a lot of travelling and I agree with that statement. Sometimes we're in such a rush to get to the destination that we miss out on all that God wants us to see and learn and grow from along the way. Very well said--thanks for the reminder to listen to God's signals along the writing route.

  4. Like the catchy title, and subtitle of Be thankful for smoke signals!

  5. You have a real gift for metaphor, Mel. When I see a rejection letter now I will immediately see smoke signals that I need to look at carefully, to determine what they're saying. Thanks for the image!


Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation. Our writers appreciate receiving your feedback on posts you have found helpful or meaningful in some way.