My self-confidence, enthusiasm, and hopes bled across the floor like crumpled pages of a rejected manuscript. Why should I bother writing if what a publishing professional I admire says is true?
Her words to writers: “You either have it or you don’t,” severed the umbilical cord of my latest project.
I know I don’t have the “X-factor.” The extra special gifting of being able to write genius prose that sequesters awards and bestseller acclaim has not been assigned to this gal’s name. No. I’m absolutely absent of any arrogance to think I’m one of the chosen ones who bears the mark of the coveted “X.”
I don’t instinctively have anything amazing regarding writing except the love and passion for it. Each small success I’ve birthed has been because I honed an idea—an embryo of hope—until it implanted on a page. And then, like this post, I stayed with it until it swelled into a ripened book bump ready to be bravely sent to editors.
My projects are my babies.
And to think of anyone calling them plain Jane—ordinary—not good enough to name, edit, adopt, and swaddle between a back copy and a brilliant front cover makes me feel like aborting my latest project.
As I thought about the missing "X-factor" in my life, I remembered all the times the Lord encouraged me not to give up on things. I thought about the project I’m working on that’s given me a bird’s-eye-view of what He can do when we trust and obey Him, and cast our nets over unpromising waters.
I pictured Peter swallowing annoyance, doubt, and disappointment when Jesus asked him to try one more time. Perhaps Peter thought it was easy for the Jesus to say it when it wasn’t the Lord who tossed nets all night long over Skunked-Ville Sea. Yet, Peter said in Luke 5:5 NIV:
“But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
And, oh-my-goodness-glory-to-the-God-of-earth-sky-and-sea, Peter’s net was filled fuller than full, and ready to burst, like an overdue pregnancy. For I’ve been that poor mama with a baby bigger than I ever imagined coming out of me. I know what it’s like to wait, worry, and sweat. I also know what it’s like to have and hold a newborn after all the drama is done and the footprints have been inked and stamped to prove—he‘s here—he’s mine.
And one day, in one way or another, a stamp of a different sort will be pressed onto the bottom of a book my future publishing team and I birth together, so the world may read and know of one more story it needs to have on the library shelves of hope.
And besides, stories I’ve read about manuscripts being rejected dozens of times and then finally being adored and adopted by one publisher also stem the flow of self-pity blood.
I rallied as I remembered it doesn’t matter how many “No’s” it takes to hear one “Yes.” For like babies, one family is all it takes to make a home where it can thrive, grow, and show its uniqueness to a world who needs more stories of hope.
And although I may not have the “X-factor”, I’m an inspirational writer, so I’ve got something greater, I’ve got the "Cross-factor."
I’m here to stay in my writing boat, because even though I’ve not birthed much yet—perhaps even been mostly skunked—the Lord may direct me to drop my net in a certain way, in a certain place, and at a certain time. Then my nets will bulge to bursting.
For now, I must not give up. For now, peace is my favourite catch of the day.
While fishing for success, don’t forget to ask your Maker where to cast your nets.
When life doesn’t roll out the red carpet for you, cast your nets over the Sea of Opportunity and rejoice in your own catch of the day because it’s not about the size of your boat; it’s about the size of the One who called you.
I'm nosey-to-know: What's your favourite writing catch of the day?
Wendy L. Macdonald is an inspirational blogger and podcaster who loves to photograph nature on Vancouver Island. Her byline is: “My faith is not shallow because I’ve been rescued from the deep.” Her main website is wendylmacdonald.com where she enjoys interacting with readers.