Lessons from Self-Publishing: Patience

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I’d always considered myself a rather patient person. I typically don’t get aggravated if the grocery store line is longer than I’d planned on it being. If someone cuts me off while driving, I may roll my eyes or say “Oh sure, come on over.” Pretty patient, right? I realized when my husband and I had kids, though, that I was fooling myself. (can anyone else relate?)

Now that I’m self-publishing, I’ve learned that the patience I’ve worked to cultivate since having kids…really hasn’t grown all that much. Rather than waiting until all of the book’s formatting was accomplished before choosing and announcing a date, I chose one based on how things worked with Book One. But they didn’t work with Violet as they did with Penelope.
So much has happened lately in our lives. Almost three weeks ago, my husband was offered a position as a history professor with another university in Texas. We weren’t unhappy where we were before, but this new job is closer to a larger city. There are several family-related reasons that a larger city would be beneficial for us, and we believe that God opened this opportunity. After much prayer, he accepted and we made the move. In a week!
As I was in the middle of the finishing touches of Book Two of my Regency Silhouettes series when this all happened, my publication date was pushed back a little more after multiple previous push-backs, and I’ve had to be patient as I waited.
Now that it’s nearly finished (no date yet, though, until I have the physical proof in hand!), and we are settling into our new home, I’m glad that the delays happened. I’m sorry that it wasn’t ready when I had hoped it would be, but I believe that I’ll be publishing a better product than if everything had gone through without a hitch in the first place. Waiting for God’s timing isn’t always easy, but He invites us to wait in His grace for His movement.
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Psalm 37:7 reads: “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers on his way, over the man who carries out evil devices.”

Obviously, there’s no fear while working and waiting for my book to be ready that someone evil will prosper in the meantime. How often, though, do we wait for something and while waiting, start comparing our situation to others’? I’m waiting for my book to be ready and start counting all the books of authors I follow who have books come out in that time.

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand” (Proverbs 19:21).
We make plans, but do they always work out? Sometimes what we plan happens right away. Sometimes we wait. Sometimes God answers no and points us in a different direction. We can take comfort, though, in the knowledge that God is working for our good in all of it. And what is that good?
In speaking about prayer, St. Paul writes in Romans: “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:26-28)
From the time I began to write with a real goal of publishing a novel, my prayer has been that God would use my work to speak His salvation, His peace, His love to others. If He would have me wait for whatever reason, I’ll do my best to be ok with that; and if I have trouble being ok with that, I add the prayer for God’s grace to make up what I’m lacking in patiently waiting.
In life, things don’t always work out how we’d planned. In fact, I’d venture to say that they often do not. But keeping a kingdom-view – that is, remembering that as Christians, we are tasked with carrying His kingdom to the world – we can work at being ok with it, we can be flexible enough to roll with the punches the world throws our way and tenacious enough to keep at it until we’re called home to be with Him forever.
(More on flexibility and tenacity to come!)
Dear readers, may you continue in patience and hope, rejoicing in God’s movement in your lives!

(All Scripture taken from English Standard Version.)

…and don’t forget, Violet is coming soon!
(Photo by Alex Shaw of Shaw Photography. Graphic design by Melissa Ripke of Melissa Sue Photo and Design.)
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