Please welcome this week’s guest Michelle Griep for The Journey. She answers the question: How have you seen God work in your writing journey?
Defeat is the creepy friend who slings his arm around the shoulder of every writer. Rejection after rejection. One-star reviews. Low sales numbers. Sure, all these are part of the writing game, but it’s like landing on a square that says, “Go back to start.”
That’s why I love it when God shows up and zings me ahead fifty spaces . . . and wow, do I have a story to share with you on just such a move.
A few years ago, I had a manuscript that had been shopped around to almost all the major publishers out there in Literary Land. It always came back with a, “Great writing, but the story just won’t fit with our house.” I lost hope that it would ever find a home . . . until a new venue opened up. The trouble was that my agent was gone on maternity leave, so there was no way for me to send off the proposal. Once again, defeat gave me a big bear hug.
But that’s when God stepped in. Right out of the blue, I received an email from the acquisitions editor at the new venue, asking if I had anything I wanted to submit. What?! That never happens! Yet it did. She’d stumbled across my blog (stumbled, as in I believe God directed her) and liked my style. Hence the request.
I sent off my proposal, which in turn garnered a request for the full manuscript, and voilà. A contract offer—for a book on which I’d given up hope. God did this all single-handedly, not that He needed my help to begin with, though. Still, the full glory goes to His credit because neither I, or my agent, had anything to do with the sale of this book. Curious about the title? A HEART DECEIVED, which mine obviously was—deceived into believing that it would never be sold.
After that victory, you’d think I’d kicked defeat to the curb, right? Wrong.
Fast forward to last year. I attended the ACFW Writers’ Conference because I had a brand new, shiny manuscript to pitch. I did all the right things: met with editors, presented a polished one-sheet, brushed my teeth and smiled a lot. No one was interested. Not even a nibble. Just like the Israelites, the great work that God had already performed flew right out of my mind.
This time defeat flattened me. I crawled home to rethink my whole, crazy writing career. For a few months, I set aside fiction and focused on simply blog writing. And then . . . guess what’s coming . . . wait for it . . . drum roll, please . . . God moved again. Once more, out of the blue, I received an email from a publisher wanting to buy the manuscript I’d pitched—without even having read it.
Why, oh why do I ever doubt God?
I know it won’t always be like this. I don’t expect magical emails to grace my inbox every time I open up Gmail. But those two times He delivered are a rock for me to stand on, one on which I can stomp defeat.
God may—or may not—work in your writing journey the same way, but I guarantee you this: He will work. Expect it. Look for it. Then sit back and be amazed.
Oh yeah, and the name of that book He sold? BRENTWOOD’S WARD, the story of a guardian watching out for his charge. Hmm. Who does that remind you of? Here’s a blurb:
There’s none better than NICHOLAS BRENTWOOD at catching the felons who ravage London’s streets, and there’s nothing he loves more than seeing justice carried out—but this time he’s met his match. Beautiful and beguiling EMILY PAYNE is more treacherous than a city full of miscreants and thugs, for she’s a thief of the highest order…she’s stolen his heart.
Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes—except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager.
She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. An Anglophile at heart, she runs away to England every chance she gets, under the guise of research. Really, though, she’s eating excessive amounts of scones.