Over the last few months my husband almost died, my mother had a heart attack, my father in-law has faced serious health issues and my mother in-law has broken her hip which led to diagnosing other serious health issues. All these incidents have put me into a figure out my priorities state of mind.
I’ve gone through many ups and downs during my short writing career. More often or not the pendulum has swung towards walking away from the difficulties of publishing. And then the “but” rises to the surface—I’ve had many encouraging letters and phone calls from people who were helped with my writing.
But what do you do when you receive a scathing personal attack from others within the industry? When I published my third novel, I knew it was not going to be the favourite of many Christians in the industry. Then I heard back from the royalty mainstream publisher—the editor thanked me for the book. She said it cleared up many things she never understood about Christianity. As part of the contract, the book was sent to be considered by a Christian book awards organization. What I got back was a personal attack that had nothing to do with the book. When I contacted the awards people, they apologized. The lady said, “I thought I deleted all of those comments.” It hurt. They’d judged me instead of the book. When I asked to see the comments, I was told they couldn’t provide me with them. I left the group associated with the awards. I then went through who had won the awards over the years and was appalled to find the blatant favouritism in who was chosen as winners year after year.
I don’t ever expect to a best seller but I will never be a sell out. Will I ever publish again? Maybe, if God leads that way. For now, I will continue to write and share my stories with the people God places in my path. And for those who decided to make my entry of a book in their awards a chance to attack me, I feel sorry for them. How can anyone take our profession seriously with behaviour like that?
Now I find myself wondering what to do with the time given me. Watching life slip away before my eyes makes me realize if God can use my writing, I will continue serving Him with this gift.