You've written a proposal and started writing. You are immersed in the characters and the storyline of this new novel. You've gotten 30,000 words into it. But you've gotten 'no' from publishers your agent submitted to. Maybe there are a couple that have not replied back, but it's been months. Do you finish this book you love? Or do you dump it and try to come up with something else hoping to get a contract?
I'm currently writing an Edwardian era novel without a contract. I love this story and my hero and heroine. This is a new era for me. I've loved the research -- the clothes, culture, innovations, the changes from a more rural relaxed life to a more modern urban one. The first book in this series takes place in Chevy Chase, MD, a then budding suburb of Washington DC. The story will then move to a small village way out in the mountains of western Maryland near the Savage River. It is a lovestory between two people of opposite natures, upbringings, and lifestyles. It's also about the love and compassion for orphans, for a down syndrome child, for the elderly, and the poor.
I hear you. What publisher would not want to contract a book like that?
I can't abandon these characters that I've come to know so intimately. I've had readers ask me when the book is going to come out, that they are excited I'm writing a romance in this era. I tell them, 'no contract yet'. My heart is being poured into this story like no other. If you saw the main characters and the storyline, you'd know why. Often it has become my escape from the worrisome world around me. I'm drawn back to another place and time, and into the minds of two people who fall desperately in love with each other, and committed to the lot God hands them.
If I shelf it, I know I'll lose something in the process. This is a writer's life. The business side is something else altogether. It is about sales, money, profit. For the writer it is our life's blood, our hearts, the air we breath. We have to write, no matter what. We keep on writing, and for those of us who are believers we keep trusting the One who gave us the gift of writing.
I'm trusting God on this project, even though I've gotten rejections. He will place it where it needs to be. I've been told I'm one of the hardest working authors in the Christian industry, that I'm easy to work with, and meticulous. Yes, I agree I am those things. And I'm patient. In God's good time this book, this series will be written and be in my readers' hands.
Writers have to be diligent in their work and patient in order to keep going. We face rejection and disappointment, that our writing has to be the thing that holds us up, that and faith. In the midst of all this there is great joy. Joy in a story unfolding that never was before. Joy in sharing it with others. Joy hearing from someone who read the story how it changed their lives. The sweetest thing I ever read in a review was a woman said after she finished reading Before the Scarlet Dawn, she went into her little girls and hugged them while they slept, being thankful to have them.
So, author. What do you do in a situation like this? You've gotten rejections. Do you finish this book you love? Or do you dump it and try to come up with something else hoping to get a contract? You finish it! You keep believing one day that book will find a place. It could be a diamond in the rough that later, maybe years later, you bring out and polish to a high sheen. Just don't give in or give up.