"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead..." Romans 1:20

Friday, July 20, 2012


"The only time you fail is the last time you try." -Anonymous 

Last weekend I attended a two-day children's book writer's conference sponsored by our local chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).  If ever I needed the above quote, it is now.  I always come away from these conferences exhilarated AND discouraged.  Exhilarated because the speakers' enthusiasm always stirs up my own passion to write.  Discouraged because I feel like a salmon swimming upstream.  It's not that I don't believe in my story, but I'll be the first to admit it may lack appeal to an editor that has a bottom line to consider.  I wave that aside and tell myself if they'd just look at it and give me their suggestions I can make it better.  The editors and agents who spoke at the conference, however, emphasized the fact that they get thousands of submissions a year and only the cream of the crop will be given a second look.  What I took away from the conference was this:  only send my best work.  It can't be potentially great, it has to be great already and then improved upon.  See how this can be discouraging.  The man-made dam those salmon were trying to jump is very much a part of the publishing world.

The greater lesson, though, that I took away from the conference is this:  those man-made obstacles hampering my progress are sometimes put there by me.  Those can be removed.  Every time I feel discouraged I must remember, "The only time you fail is the last time you try."  I came home from the conference with a whole new way to present my story to an editor or agent.  One of the speakers had said "understand your limitations and work to your strengths."  My strengths...yes!  I know what my strengths are but had not thought to highlight them concerning a book for children.  I rewrote my cover letter.  Then I went through the story looking for places I could make those strengths more evident.  After rereading it a couple more times with this in mind, I will send it off to the two editors and two agents at the conference.  They may not be in the market for what I have to offer, but I won't give up.  The only chance I have to get it published is to keep putting it out there.  If I keep doing that, my endeavor cannot be deemed a failure.  

God reminds me this is what love is all about--never giving up.  I may not always act in a loving manner toward others, either by commission or omission, but if I keep asking for forgiveness and trying again, I'll not have failed at His command that we love love another.

Father, thank You for loving me no matter what--for never giving up on me.

Link to scripture: http://niv.scripturetext.com/mark/12-29.htm

Take action:  Love One Another

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