Friday, November 13, 2009

God is bigger

When I decided I was going to pursue my dream of being a writer, I was 17 and didn’t know exactly what that looked like. It ended up being a lot of trial and error. First, I learned I didn’t need to send my whole manuscript directly to the publishing houses. There were people called “literary agents,” and I needed to get me one. I read up on how to do that, then I started sending out my query letters.

Then I learned that I didn’t know what genre I wrote for. I did some more research and determined that I wrote Young Adult Fiction. Then I learned that a thing called “Christian Fiction” existed, but I didn’t know exactly where my books fell. Did being a Christian writer automatically mean I wrote Christian Fiction? No. In fact, whether I chose to write for the general market or the Christian, my content needed tweaking. It needed less tweaking if I went the Christian route, so I did that. (Doesn’t that sound like such a spiritual decision? Sheesh. It would be so much nicer if I could say that I prayed about it.)

And after a few more years of trial and error, I started hearing this “platform” word. It was something I needed and didn’t have. A platform is basically anything that gives you name recognition and will help you sell books. I was 23 at the time, quite pregnant, and I’d spent the last six years primarily devoted to improving my writing. I left my “platform” class at a writers’ conference feeling depressed and defeated. For the first time since I’d started on my journey, I wondered if it was really possible for me to be published.

A funny thing happened a few months later—my agent called and said Revell wanted to buy my Skylar Hoyt books.

I knew I should have been excited, and I was, but I kept thinking, “Wait! Are they sure? I don’t have a platform.”

Before we got off the phone, my agent laughed and said, “I just can’t believe it. You have no platform, and you write for a risky genre. I can’t believe you got published.”

And I felt God saying to me, “I can.”

The thing is, God is bigger. He’s bigger than the publishing industry. He’s bigger than cancer. He’s bigger than the government. He’s bigger than financial crisis. He’s bigger than a bad grade, mistakes you’ve made, or regrets you have. Whatever you’re going through today, whatever is burdening your heart—He’s bigger. It’s a thought that comforts and strengthens me, and I hope it does the same for you.

Stephanie Morrill

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