I know this is going to sound crazy with a capital INSANE, but over the years that I struggled to write and publish The Door Within, I was seriously afraid. But the fear I experienced might surprise you. Certainly, there was the expected fear of rejection, and the fear that I might never get published. But there was another fear…a fear so odd I'm almost embarrassed to admit it. I do so only because there might be another author out there fettered by the same fear.
I was afraid to succeed.
You read that correctly. For a long time (13 years to be precise), while writing The Door Within I actually was afraid of getting published. I'm not totally sure why, but I have suspicions. You see, I grew pretty comfortable always telling people, "Yeah, I'm working on a book. I hope it'll get published some day." That was good for conversation. It said to people that I was creative and interesting, but it always left me an out. It allowed me to be lazy and not give my writing the all that I could possibly give it. Because I could always say, "Yeah, I'm working on a book."
I also knew that if I succeeded in being published, I'd have to bear a lot more responsibility. I'd have much more work to do, deadlines, less leisure time (I sure was right about that!). But being "almost an author" allowed some of the fringe benefits with not nearly as much effort.
And of course, if I didn't really give my book the all I could give if I REALLY focused on my craft and worked at that story, then I also had a convenient excuse when my manuscript was rejected. I could always say, sure it was rejected. But it wasn't my best work. To really spill blood and guts into the manuscript and send it out there…that would be to invite the ultimate rejection with no safety net.
But, you know what? God doesn't tell us to bring safety nets. Yeah, I know, when Abraham took little Isaac on that little walk up the mountain, God provided the ram in the thicket. But He didn't tell Abraham that. Still Abraham trusted God to provide the lamb.
If you feel a love for writing, a passion for it, I can't help but believe it is because God placed that passion there. Say you've been called, say it's God's plan for you, phrase it any way you want. But do it. And not only that, do it well. Whatever it takes--creative writing courses, joining writer's groups, paying for professional critique, etc. DO it. Give it your best--your VERY best effort. Flush the fear down the commode. Yeah, you might fail. Yes, you will probably get rejected--maybe dozens of times. And yes, you just might succeed, and it will be more work than you can possibly imagine. But if God called you to do it, do it.
Oh, and…get an agent.