Some of you might remember a post I wrote almost exactly one year ago, where I shared that I was having a hard time blogging because I had been rejected by a few dozen publishers. Those rejections were not limited to publishers either, as an even greater number of agents had also turned me away, which was particularly frustrating because most publishers won’t even consider you if you don’t have representation. These setbacks obliterated my motivation for writing – in fact, even my emails came out weird and stilted during that time, like the time I started an email to a congregation member with this charming salutation:
“Hey! Hope you good.”
At the time, I was ready to throw in the towel and abandon all hope of publishing the story of my wife’s fight with cancer. But what stopped me from doing so was the fact that quite a few people commented on that piece, and encouraged me to persevere and to keep on writing. It is a marvelous thing when people believe in you, especially when you don’t believe in yourself.
And so, I redoubled my efforts to write and expand my platform, and did pretty well in those regards. I managed to get on some major news programs, and published a few articles. But despite all of these efforts, I continued to receive rejection letter after rejection letter. I even got one last month for a proposal I had submitted to a publisher…two years ago. So, I wasn’t just getting rejected – I was getting rejected back in time, and just learning about it now. It was hard to figure out whether it was my present or past self that should feel disappointed, but I decided that both of us felt rather badly about it.
After this latest round of rejections, I was really prepared to throw in the towel, and this time, for good. There wasn’t much left for me to try to do except publish even more articles, and build even more platform, steps that hadn’t accomplished much to that point. I had exhausted all my connections, and there were no new opportunities on the horizon. And like clockwork, my emails began to take on an alarmingly strange nature, replete with sentence fragments and plenty of Hey’s and Well’s.
But apparently, God knows exactly how much a person can take.
I am so happy and humbled to announce that this month, Bethany House has agreed to publish my book, which will be released in the spring of 2015. It will partly be a memoir about my wife’s fight against triple negative breast cancer while pregnant (and raising two little girls…and moving into a rough neighborhood…and while I was planting a church). But it will also feature some teaching and guidance as to how we make sense of suffering in our lives, and the lives of those we love. Sometimes, I still can’t believe this is happening…it took three years, exposure on multiple media outlets, and endless hours of writing chapters, essays, and blogs, but I’m finally going to get this thing published!
And so as before, I may not be blogging as frequently, but this time for a much better reason – cuz I’m all writ out. On average, I’m writing anywhere between 1000 to 1500 words per day for the book, in addition to the 3000 word sermon that I prepare weekly for church. My fingers are starting to get all cramped from typing, and my butt constantly sore from being sat on. But I am still going to try to blog as often as I can, although I suspect that many of my posts will focus on how tired I am of writing, and how I wished I had given up last year.
I want end this by saying “thank you” to you all. I am not a writer at heart, not really (“DUH,” some of you are thinking). I got into writing for one reason only, and that is to tell this one story. This may very well be the only book I ever write, which is fine by me, as I doubt I will ever have as wonderful of a story to tell. But because writing is not the most natural way I communicate, getting this far was very challenging. And I never would have made it without your support and encouragement. And so from the bottom of my heart, thank you – this book will be written for all of you, that it might encourage you in the same way you have encouraged me.
Listen to me, talking as if this book is already done or something! It’s time to get to work.