Monday, July 15, 2013

Don't Quit

Please Don't Quit So Soon!
When we moved to Paris, IL from Los Angeles thirteen years ago, I met a man who had lost both arms in a farming accident eighteen years before, when he was twenty. I asked him if I could write his story of perseverance and faith for the world to read. I'd seen an ad from Chicken Soup for the Soul, asking for stories suitable for men. I knew Delbert's story would fit perfectly.

After weeks of interviewing Delbert, writing, rewriting, and revising, my story was complete. I submitted it to Chicken Soup, and they accepted it. I signed a contract. I think my husband and I even went out to dinner--my favorite sport--to celebrate.

Eight years went by. I never heard back from Chicken Soup. I wrote to them and they told me they'd not published the book for men, that I was free to send the story elsewhere. I sent it to Guideposts, and they published it in their Extraordinary Answers to Prayer anthology.

My story, "I Told You So," finally appeared in this Guideposts book eight years after I wrote it!
In the meantime, I've continued to submit Chicken Soup for the Soul stories that I thought would fit their needs. Although I've published stories in six other anthologies and my own book, Chicken Soup always rejected what I sent them. I gave up, thinking I was not the kind of writer they were looking for.

Then recently a dear friend encouraged me to send another story. "Okay," I sighed, "just one more can't hurt." And, you guessed it, they bought it! It will appear in their book Devotions for Wives this September, and is titled, Our Personal SOS.

I'm elated that Chicken Soup finally bought one of my stories, and I'm tickled that I finally discovered the style of writing that best suits them. But more than that, I'm happy I didn't give up.

What a great feeling when you persevere and your dream comes true
And you? Whatever you are tempted to give up on, allow me be the friend that comes alongside you and says, "Just one more time. Please don't quit. You can do this."

P.S. The Winner of our book giveaway of God, Me, and Sweet Ice Tea by Rose Johnson is Rhonda Schrock from Grounds for Insanity, a warm, funny, and encouraging blog I hope you'll frequent. Congratulaions, Rhonda! Thanks to all who commented and entered the drawing.