Friday, January 21, 2011

Sit and Wait by Alison Strobel

As a freelance editor (Dawn here), I recently explained to an anxious client that waiting is part of the publishing process. He had submitted a story to a major magazine, and wondered if he should resubmit the same piece to the same magazine, even though the expected “waiting period” hadn’t passed. Waiting is difficult, isn’t it? I’m so glad that author Alison Strobel is here to talk about that very thing. Enjoy her encouraging words.

Sit and Wait
by Alison Strobel

I'm in what one of my writing friends calls "the sit and wait chair." I don't like it here. I like to know what's coming up, what the next, say, 12 months of my life are roughly going to look like. And I thought I did know. I thought having six books under my belt, all with glowing reviews from readers, would mean publishers would say, "Oh, another proposal from Alison! Of course, sign her up!" Instead I'm discovering—as many other authors are, even those who are far more established and accomplished than I—that publishers are themselves sitting and waiting: waiting to see how sales do, what the market does, where the trends go. So this month I will turn in the last book for which I'm contracted, and after that ... I sit and wait.

Chances are some of you are waiting too. Waiting for word to come back from an agent you've solicited. Or for an editor to let you know what s/he thinks of the manuscript you submitted at a conference four months ago. You may be waiting for your first book to finally be discovered by its audience, for readers to stop walking past its space on the shelves and start actually reading it. We're all sitting and waiting together, and even though it's good to know we've got company, it's not always that comforting. We think, If that writer is struggling, then what hope do I have?

But oh—we always have hope.

How is that? Well, it seems pretty clear to me that God knows what's going to happen next—for all of us. He knows whether or not I'm ever going to see another contract, or sell another book, or write another word. And I can honestly say that if I never publish again, I'm cool with that, even though writing is pretty much my absolute, most favorite thing in the world to do. I'm cool with it, not because I believe God might bring some other dream job my way, but because I trust that God will do whatever is necessary to draw me closer to him and sanctify me in the process. It's not about the career. It's about what that career does to refine me in my faith. Once this career stops doing that, what point is there in remaining in it? When I'm heaven, will I think, "I'm so glad God allowed me to publish twenty books and be on the bestseller list!" Or will I think, "I'm so glad God put me through all the junk I experienced in life so I would be this close to him"?

And so, I sit and wait. But I won't do it idly. I won't waste my time here with worry and wondering. I'm here for a reason and, as with every other thing I go through in life, that reason is to draw closer every second of the day to my Savior. I hope that, as you sit and wait, you'll seek to grow closer to him, too.

Alison Strobel writes fiction for women about life, love, and faith. She also writes children's books about spiritual formation with her husband under the name Ali Morrow. When she's not writing, she might be crocheting, surfing Facebook or, or—more likely—spending time with her husband and two awesome daughters. Learn more at or


  1. What a timely post, Alison and Dawn. Thank you for the encouragement. The little picture changes, the bigger picture (drawing closer to God) doesn't. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Thanks Annette, and thanks for having me over, Dawn. :)

  3. Thank you for the huge dose of encouragement! It is all about drawing closer and closer to Him, and following where ever He leads! Blessings to you!


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