Thursday, February 4, 2016

That Pregnant Pause of the Publishing World by Susan Tuttle

Susan Tuttle
I have three children, and I remember each of my pregnancies vividly. Nine long months, a few where it looked like nothing was happening, and a few where it was more than evident I was pregnant. And it never failed how at the very end I’d hear the lovely question every pregnant woman longs to hear: “Have you had that baby yet?”

It was even more fun when you were overdue.

Well, for many of us on this publishing journey, it’s much the same. In the very beginning we keep our writing status to ourselves. We enjoy writing small stories or articles, perhaps journaling, but no one knows. It’s our little secret. Yet we’re slowly growing and at some point we can’t keep our writing to ourselves anymore. So we announce to anyone who’ll listen that we are, in fact, a writer. We’ll be pursing publication and all the amazing wonder it entails. We look forward with anticipation at what’s to come. We are giddy with excitement and possibility.

We don’t mind the growing pains. And we experience some wonderful moments along the way. We publish a small article. We are picked up by an agent. We hear wonderful news from a publisher. It’s like the gifts at a baby shower landing in our laps. Fun to unwrap and they point to what will one day arrive: publication and the delivery of our book baby.

Except, much like pregnancy, we don’t have an exact date. We grow, we expand, everything starts to feel uncomfortable and the wait unbearable, but nothing arrives. And then it starts…the question every writer pursuing publication for any length of time loves to hear: “Have you gotten a contract yet?”

It comes in all forms from all angles from well-meaning friends and family. And each time we smile, tip our head, suck in a long breath, and answer as sweetly as we can, “Still waiting.” It’s not that we mind the questions, it’s that we aren’t in love with the answer. We are stuck in the pregnant pause of the publishing world, and just like you can’t force a baby out (okay, not easily, but you get my point), you can’t force this delivery to happen any sooner than God has on his calendar.

That’s because God is the only Author that gets to write our time table. We need to learn to appreciate this pause and understand that he’s preparing us for his perfect timing. He knows exactly when we’ll be ready for our book baby to be born. Don’t rush it. Just wait for him to fill your arms with every promise he’s given.

Because God never forgets to deliver on the dreams he’s planted.

Susan Tuttle is a homeschooling mom of three who is crazy about coffee, dark chocolate, and words—both reading and writing them. Combine that love of words with her passion for leading women to a life-changing encounter with Christ, and you’ll find her crafting Inspirational Contemporary Romance stories laced with humor, love, and healing transformations. When not cheering on her Ironman hubby, chasing the family dog, or tackling complex math problems to teach her kids (yes, even the third grader), you can catch Susan at her blog, Steps.

Susan contributes on the first Thursday of each month.