When a Writer Loses Her Way

A few weeks ago, my agent emailed me with the news that another publisher rejected one of my manuscripts. It was a nice rejection (the book “had a lot to recommend”), but a rejection all the same.

I took the rejection hard. It hurt. A lot.

Maybe because it was right before Christmas. Maybe because I had been praying and shopping and hoping about this particular book for a long time. Maybe because I’ve been waiting and trying to break into fiction writing for a very long time.

Maybe all of those things or none of those things. It all boiled down to the cold, hard fact that this book still didn’t have a home. And that made me sad.

It also made me question whether romantic suspense writing was for me, that I was destined to write but for an audience of none. Yes, I’m well aware that I could go indie, but for me, right now, that’s not what I need to be for a host of reasons I won’t identify. That’s not where my heart is for my fiction writing—and if I’ve learned anything as a writer, it’s not to do projects without your heart engaged.

It’s your heart that keeps you going when the going gets tough, and it was my heart that had been bruised by this most recent rejection. For a while, I wasn’t sure I even wanted to continue working on my fiction writing.

Then I realized that would never do. I can’t not write. To me, writing is as essential as living and breathing. I write something every day. Some days, it’s for clients related to my freelance writing career. Other days, it’s writing for my two blogs. Sometimes, it’s parenting articles or answering questions on parentguru.com. But writing is my life.

Today, I’m still a bit bruised, still a bit sad, still trying to recover my hope for a published future for this book. But when the sun goes down each day, I know I haven’t completely lost my way because I’m still a writer at heart.

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