The Success "Secret"
Sometimes newer writers feel like success (in the form of publication) is out of their reach, no matter what they do. Successful authors, they think, must know a secret or two they are simply unaware of. Why else aren't they published by now? (Perhaps there's an area of your life that feels unattainable even though you see other people reaching that goal, benchmark, or weight level. It seems that other people can get there, but not you, no matter how hard you try.)
If you feel like that, beware.
While success sometimes is a matter of being in the right place at the right time or a result of who you know, more often it is a result of things completely within your grasp: Perseverance and hard work.
Perseverance can get you in the right place at the right time, and hard work will help you meet the people you need to know, or gain the skills necessary to reach your goal.
Colin Powell said, "There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure."
Before you start to feel that life is unfair or that all of your time spent writing and editing your work (or dieting, or studying, or whatever) is fruitless, ask yourself if you have prepared sufficiently, done the work that is necessary, and learned from your failures.
If you aren't published in book length fiction and that is your goal, then it stands to reason that your work is not done. (Even when you get published, your work is not done.) Before snagging that first contract, however, it is doubly important that you prepare--and keep preparing. Work hard--and keep working hard.
Many people fail simply because they stop trying.
"Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance."
Learn from your failures, which, for writers, is a rejection letter or a critique. (Some criticism will not be accurate, but learning to find the grain of truth in it can be very, very helpful. Even your enemies can help you in this area--they are the first ones to spot your weaknesses, so their criticism will often contain a grain of truth that you've been blind to.)
Only the Lord knows the right time, the right publisher or the right agent for you. And every time you get a rejection, you can accept that it was not the right place, time, or publisher for you or your work. The key is to find the right one, or for your agent to do so. This takes time and patience.
It may be hard to keep believing that success will happen because it hasn't happened, yet. It's difficult to persevere in the face of rejection. But this is precisely what you must do. This is the time to lean on your God and remember that HE is the one who has called you to do this thing called writing (or whatever thing he has called you to do. Whether it is writing a book or being a homemaker and mother and wife, do it as to the Lord!) Your (publishing) success will come in His time and in His way.
In the meantime, remember that you write not because you may get published,
not to impress an agent or editor,
not to show your family or friends that you can,
but to serve the LORD; to steward the resources of creativity and imagination that He has entrusted to your care. When you remember that it is GOD you serve, the outcome of your efforts is His concern, not merely yours. Serving God means that you are always a success so long as you are faithful. And that goes for everyone, no matter their walk of life.
His yoke is easy and His burden is light!
Commit your way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. Psalms 37:5
What is your comfort when you've received a rejection or setback? Do you have a favorite verse you fall back on? Please share it with us. As always, any comment will enter you in the current book giveaway.