Want to be an author? Well, the first thing you’ve got to do is get that nice, clean, linear path to success out of your head. You know the one: write my book, get it published, and sell millions! Ha. That’s a sugar story and you’re in for a cavity.
Yup, this picture pretty much says is all. Another visual even more true to reality is sailing a ship in stormy waters. You’re doing your very best, but you don’t know if you’ll get there alive.
I knew it wouldn’t be easy in such a way that I expected knowing it wouldn’t be easy would make the struggles somehow less substantial. If that makes any sense. I submitted my novel to a publisher and guess what….they wanted it! Great! Well, as it turns out it wasn’t so great. It’s true I didn’t get the steady current of rejection notices that pelt continuously at a writer’s self confidence until they are reduced to mumbling wrecks wallowing in those foggy alleys between resolve and the plummets of self pity. What I got was taken. That’s right, I fell into the trap of vanity publishing.
Yup, that’s pretty much what it is. They make it look real pretty for you and then you’re on your own. It’s great if you just want something to sell to family and friends. But in the end, if you want to get anywhere else with it the prices are just too outrageous with the exception of the price you set on those copies you buy from the publisher to peddle around your neighborhood. This is the stern warning part of my post. If you’re considering a publisher who has at any time been called a vanity press, LOOK OUT!
Anyway, my faith in Jesus Christ is the center of my fantasy project. Back in 2011 I was looking for inspiration for my next writing project. Writing was my chief hobby at the time. Also at this time, I was wondering what purpose the Lord had for me. Everyone around me seemed to know exactly what they were doing. On a whim I prayed, “Lord, the pen is yours. What do you want me to do?”
This was the beginning. The moment when a little fire was lit inside.
Shortly after the prayer was said a new idea came up and it took off like a bullet out of a gun. Now, you’re probably wondering, if God were really behind it why would he let me fall into that trap I mentioned earlier? Heck, why does he allow any kind of trouble anyway?
First of all, a life with Christ is no bed of roses, nor was such ease ever promised. In fact, he warned us of exactly the opposite.
“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”
Second, we in the physical tend to jump the gun, or try to take control of the situation because we like to see all the steps right in front of us, nice and tidy. Whereas, the Lord is outside of time, aware of variables you can’t see when making your own analysis of the situation. But a tremendous comes when I remember,
“All things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called for his purpose.”
When he says all things, he really means all things be it mistake or hardship. Nothing is too big for Jesus Christ.
Back in October of 2016, while I was contemplating the future of my second book I felt led to take a step backward: to leave the vanity press, put the first book through a revamp, and resubmit it elsewhere. I was terrified of letting go of what I had. I was published. But after much prayer and seeking, I finally filled out the necessary paperwork.
The vanity publisher went out of business four months later.
There’s a lot of uncertainty in the air, but this story is far from over.