Everything right . . . and still wrong.

by Nicole Petrino-Salter


           

As a writer, you can do everything right and still
feel like you did everything wrong. You know what I mean?

You studied the craft, you wrote your first novel, you
set it down for a month or two, you went back, you edited it like crazy. You
studied more. You went to writers conferences. You met people. You met
professionals (and, yes, some of them are people too). They liked you. You
liked them. You waited a year or two, wrote two more novels. You went back to a
conference and pitched your work. You heard back.

“Not for us at this time.” “Thank you, but no.” “Good
writing, not what we need.” “We wish you the best with your work.” Over and over
again.

You persevered. You tried again. You kept writing.

We all know there are different kinds of people, let
alone different kinds of writers. Some have no “quit” gene in them. Others will
bail at the first rejection.

There’s only one difference I know of that can affect
the outcomes of successes or rejections. That’s the relationship with Jesus
Christ. Secular philosophies attribute everything to the flesh incorporating “luck”
into all the equations for achieving or failing at what they do.

A Christian who writes believes his steps are ordered
by the Lord and true success comes in obedience to His leading. The path isn’t
necessarily smooth, not always “rewarding” in the human sense, and can involve
some major disappointments. It can even feel wrong – after attempting to do
everything right. And, if the truth be known, it can cause a writer to wonder
about the direction he took, be faced with giving up, wanting to give up, but
ultimately realizing he can’t give up but must conclude what he thought was the
path to satisfaction and success is really following the road to wherever God
leads.

Sometimes it’s hard to admit that God’s direction is
better than the one we had planned for us. We didn’t mind the years of work to
perfect our craft, a rejection or ten, because we kept envisioning a novel that
kept readers professing how much they enjoyed it, how it touched their hearts,
made them laugh out loud, comforted them – you get my drift. We had many five
star reviews in mind, several fours, a few threes, and to be fair a couple of
one and two star contributions by readers who probably didn’t even read the
book. It was a good plan with everything done “right”. Then how had it gone so
wrong? Or did it?

When you strip it all down to the bare naked truth, if
you did what God had for you to do, you can decide not to question the journey.
If you think you should’ve done some more, you can continue to do those things.
If you’ve done all God has for you to do, nothing else matters. Not sales. Not
social media. Not platform. Not anything.

Only
God. His way or the low way. Rest in it.

Nicole Petrino-Salter writes love stories with a passion. You can visit her here most days.