Do you remember George McFly from Back to the Future? If you do, you are probably familiar with the scene in George's high school lunchroom. George is scribbling furiously in a notebook when Marty, George's son from the future, comes over and asks his father what he's writing.
“Uh, stories. Science fiction stories… about visitors coming down to Earth from other planets,” George says.
“Get out of town… I didn’t know you did anything creative,” Marty says, clearly impressed. “Here, let me read some.” He reaches for the notebook, but George pulls it away.
“Oh, no, no, no. I never let anyone read my stories.”
“Well, what if they didn’t like them? What if they told me I was no good? I guess that would be pretty hard for somebody to understand.”
I think anyone who is a writer understands you, George McFly.
Whether we’re just penning that first story or on our tenth novel, there is always risk in putting ourselves out there. Our words, our thoughts, our stories. Someone is bound not to like them.
And that ugly word ‘rejection’ comes nagging at our pride.
I’m learning there are many layers to this writing journey. I’ve won and finaled in contests, I’ve acquired an awesome agent, but even so, I know as my story is submitted, rejection will come. This is a subjective industry. Not everyone will love what I have to say—or how I say it. Yet I must face facts—rejection is part of a writer's journey, and it's nearly inevitable.
Standing at this threshold, I can't imagine not continuing. So I'm going to continue this crazy race. And you know what? I'm excited to learn what journey God has in store for me. I'm excited to see what He's going to teach me next. Maybe He'll surprise me. Maybe He'll teach me things that don't even have to do directly with writing. Maybe He'll teach me more about myself, about others, and about His grace. Not a bad deal, right? And if I happen to get my book published along the way…well, I’d definitely take that too. ;)
As for George McFly, I can't say my future has a hardcover in it as his eventually did, but for right now, it's nice to know someone else understands, even if he is only a fictional character himself.
Heidi Chiavaroli is a writer, runner, wife, mother, and grace-clinger—not necessarily in that order. Ever since taking her first trip to Plimoth Plantation with her sister, mother, and grandmother at the age of nine, she has been fascinated with history and its significance to today’s people and culture. Heidi is the winner of ACFW’s 2014 Genesis Contest, Historical Category. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, two sons, and Howie, her standard poodle. Learn more about Heidi on her website: www.heidichiavaroli.com.