So I often find it difficult to keep plugging along in my quest to get published. The task of finding an agent who will fall in love with my book seems daunting, especially when I read all the blog comments from fellow writers who have yet to find their own. I tend to think of every writer as a great writer, though I know this is not the case, but who am I to think I am so much better? Why should I think I can find an agent if they cannot? My step falters and my confidence sags.
I get so down that I don’t want to continue for fear of failure. My husband notices that I have once again fallen into the doldrums, the smile that’s usually plastered on my face gone, my brow furrowed in worry. He tries to pick me up, telling me to remain persistent. But it doesn’t work. There’s really no reason for that except to say that he doesn’t really know what I’m going through, where I am, how difficult this business really is. I need someone who gets me, who gets the heartache of writing, of putting your body and soul into a story and fearing that no one will ever read it.
There is one person in my life who gets that. Her name is Lisa Regan and she is my mentor and co-conspirator, my sounding board, my lifeline to sanity. I refer to her as a drug I cannot go without. I emailed her, telling her that I needed my “Lisa fix” and she understood.
This is a woman who has put four tortuous years into a work of literature that is so powerfully profound that I have no words good enough to describe fully how masterful it really is. She has slaved over her novel, writing and rewriting until is glistens like gold. She’s also been through the querying process. She told me she’s received hundreds of rejections, but many of those have been constructively critical which in turn led her to rewrite yet again. And now she has this intense, beautiful, scary story that I know will be published. How can I give up if she has remained so stoic?
I often pray to God for the benefit of my loved ones, rarely asking for anything on my own behalf. Last night though, I was down and I asked for some sign that I should go on, move ahead, not give up. The way I saw it, He had provided me with so many other signs along the way, He wouldn’t mind giving me another when I needed it the most. I told Him I was listening, that my eyes were open wide and waiting. I knew not to expect anything grand or obvious. I also knew I probably wouldn’t get anything at all. But I had faith. Faith that He put me on this path, that He means for me to continue. And you know what? I got that sign! Again, it came in the form of Lisa Regan.
She emailed me, offering me words of encouragement. I heard my phone ding with the new message so I picked it up, hoping it might be her. And while I read her message, a song played over the airwaves in Starbucks where I waited for my son to get out of class. The song, one I’ve never heard before, was called “You Make Me Smile” at least that’s what the words of the chorus sang over and over. And I started to cry. I had my sign. I knew I was meant to continue. Her email pumped me up like no other words ever could. She’s my angel, my savior. Once I told her I wished I could bottle her, like an anti-depressant that I could take daily. I think God sent her to me. And I will do my best everyday to live up to both of them. Thank you God. Thank you Lisa.