A few years ago, I was writing stories in category romance. But then the story ideas dried up like grass under the blazing Texas sun. Other stories, however, were taking root and growing in my mind. Maybe the grass just seemed greener over the hill in mainstream fiction. Whatever the reason, I decided to hop off to explore these different stories and quirky characters.
But the weeds became thicker and the plants taller along the way, and of course that made me (a little grasshopper) feel smaller and pretty insignificant. If you have ever been published and then suddenly aren’t selling, you know what I mean. Numbers 13: 33 says, “We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”
For three years, I prayed and watched for signs or some kind of an answer. During that time, I continued to write, but I wasn’t sending out any proposals. I was growing my writing. I kept hearing messages at church or in other places and felt God wanted me to write. Me! So, I finally got the message and said, “Okay.”
But nothing miraculous happened. No editor showed up at my little patch of grass and demanded to publish my book. I continued to feel smaller and smaller in the big scary world of publishing. I was like the Israelites in Numbers 13 who had left Egypt. When they got to the Promised Land, it looked good, but giants were living there, giant publishing houses, giant authors who had giant platforms that I couldn’t compete against. The Israelites felt like grasshoppers. Only Caleb believed they could take the land God had promised them. The Israelites grumbled and complained and wished they were back in Egypt! Many times, I grumbled along my journey. I complained. I often wished I were back in category romance, safe and sound (yeah, right!). Fear and negativity had the Israelites wanting to be slaves again.
So here’s the question: are you a Caleb? Or are you a grasshopper Israelite? I think most writers start out in their career as optimists. After all you have to be an optimist to think you can write a whole book, much less sell it! But the difficulties and realities of this business beat us down, frighten us, make us doubt and feel small and insignificant, just like a little grasshopper. But the truth is: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
So you see, I’m still a grasshopper, unknown, small and pretty insignificant, just nibbling away at my stories. But I have a great God. One who sees all. One who knows all things. Nothing is impossible for Him.