Wednesday, October 10, 2018

A Season of Pruning by Marissa Shrock

Deep down, I always thought getting the contract for my first novel was too easy. I spent five years learning to write fiction. When I was ready to seek publication, I found an agent and had an offer from a publisher within less than a year. A year and a half later, my young adult, dystopian novel was released and went on to final in a major award.

But sales were low, and my publisher refused to buy the sequels. My agency purged its client list, and I didn’t survive the cut. The career that’d once seemed so promising was dying before it’d had a chance to live.

As I walked this difficult road, I concluded that God was using this painful experience to prune away attitudes and junk in my life. The good news is that when God prunes, it’s to make us more fruitful (John 15:2).

I learned I should never compare my season of pruning to someone else’s season of fruitfulness. Comparisons are easy when we meet and become friends with other writers. As we celebrate our friends’ successes, we secretly wonder why contracts or massive amounts of sales aren’t happening for us.

God showed me all authors write one word at a time, and those words matter to him. Just because he chooses to bless someone else with more talent, more contracts, more money, more awards, and a bigger platform, doesn’t mean that what we’re writing isn’t important. It’s humbling when expectations don’t match reality, and when God’s plan isn’t what we expected.

Though this experience was difficult for me, God has been faithful and has provided a way for me to share my stories. I’ve indie published the sequels to my debut novel and have moved on to writing cozy mysteries.

Though I’m excited by the new possibilities, I remind myself daily that my novels will be what God wants them to be. He’ll take my books where he wants them to go, and he’ll do the same with your work as well.


Marissa Shrock loves to read a variety of genres, so her own work includes dystopian thrillers and cozy mysteries. She’s the author of the Emancipation Warriors Series and the Georgia Rae Winston Mystery Series. Her debut novel, The First Principle, was a Carol Award Finalist. Marissa enjoys playing golf and traveling to new places, and her home is in Indiana.