Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Dealing With Publishing Disappointments by Lynn Huggins Blackburn

I live just outside of Greenville, South Carolina and I love almost everything about it.

The one thing I don’t love? Our traffic.

I-85 and I-385 are a daily source of frustration for thousands of commuters and in an effort to alleviate the congestion, a massive construction project is underway.

Last week, after being out of town for a few days, I merged onto I-385  . . . and quickly realized that the lane I had traveled for years was gone. It was now an exit ramp and it went in a direction I didn’t want to go.

I scrambled to check my mirrors and slip into the lane to the left. There had been no warning signs and if I hadn’t been paying attention, I would have had to take a circuitous route to my destination.

As I adjusted to the new road conditions, I couldn’t help but notice the parallels to the publishing journey.

We make plans, we follow the paths others have successfully taken, but sometimes we open an email or check social media and realize everything has changed.

  • The agent we thought would be our perfect match sends a rejection letter.
  • We don’t get an appointment with the editor we knew would be the right fit for our story.
  • The line we were targeting closes.
  • We learn the publisher we’ve always dreamed of working with isn’t accepting new submissions.

We’ve heard it before . . . If there’s one thing you can count on in publishing, it’s change. Sigh.

I’m no fan of change, but I’ve found a few things that help me deal with the inevitable disappointments that come my way.

First, I pitch a fit. I know you thought I was going to say I pray, and I do. But if I’m honest, it usually starts out as a rant that morphs into a prayer. I pour out my frustrations and fears to the One who loves me best. When I quit throwing a tantrum and take my sadness to my Father, it doesn’t take long for Him to remind me that He isn’t surprised by the latest developments and His plans have never been held captive by the whims of mankind.

Second, I plug in. I go to conferences, interact on-line and in person with other writers in a variety of genres, and read blogs from editors, agents, and other industry professionals. There’s no way to know when a contact could turn into a referral or a paying job.

Third, I press on. I keep writing. I keep looking for new opportunities. I stay open to new ideas.

Mostly, I keep my eyes focused on the One who has control of my path and I trust Him to get me where He wants me to go, no matter how many times the roads change.

Have you encountered an unexpected shift in your writing journey? How do you manage the ever-changing publishing world?


Lynn H. Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. She’s passionate about CrossFit, coffee, and chocolate (don’t make her choose) and experimenting with recipes that feed both body and soul. She lives in South Carolina with her true love, Brian, and their three children. Her first book, Covert Justice, won the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery/Suspense and the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel. Her second book, Hidden Legacy, releases June 2017 and the first book in her new Dive Team Investigations series, Beneath the Surface, releases March 2018 from Revell.

You can connect with Lynn at and as @LynnHBlackburn on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Hidden Legacy:

Arriving home with the baby she's adopting, Caroline Harrison finds her house vandalized…and an intruder intent on shooting her. She's saved when police sirens approach, but all signs point to the little boy as the true target—and the assailant won't give up. Now she has to rely on Detective Jason Drake, the man who once broke her heart, to figure out why someone's after her soon-to-be adoptive son. Reunited after thirteen years apart, Jason can't help but hope their love might be rekindled, but Caroline and her son's safety come first. Because if he wants a chance at a future—and a family—with them, they have to outrun a hit man.