I don’t even know how else to write this except to blurt it out all over the place: my agent sold my memoir!!!!
I signed the contract and mailed it off yesterday to WaterBrook Multnomah, a division of Random House. I know! Like one of my friends here in Lincoln said: “The HOUSE!!!”
Two years to write it, two years to land an agent, nearly two years for that agent to sell it to a publisher. Can I just tell you…I’d pretty much given up. Honestly, I’d given up hope on that book. After wrestling and begging and pleading with God for the last two years, and struggling with jealousy and envy, disappointment, frustration and idolatry, I’d finally put it aside.
I knew Rachelle had sent the manuscript to a publisher, but frankly, after two years of zero progress, I also knew better than to give it a second thought. When the phone rang, and I heard her voice on the end, and she said something like, “You are going to love me today!” I actually responded, “Really?” with just a hint of edginess in my voice, all crotchety and crabby. I was in a bad mood.
A bad mood, can you believe it?
So when she said, “I just sold your memoir!” I simply stopped breathing. For like four seconds. And then I started gushing an unstoppable stream of consciousness, including all sorts of inappropriate and completely unprofessional statements like:
“I think I’m crying!” and
“I can’t stop sweating!!”
When I got off the phone I had my first Pentecostal moment all by myself, running around the house, raising my hands to Heaven and praising God at the top of my lungs, which, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know just does not happen because I am an uptight New Englander and a Lutheran.
And then I called Brad, who didn’t answer because he was teaching. And then I called my parents, who also didn’t answer. And then I called my sister, who also didn’t answer. And then I called Deidra, who didn’t answer but then called me right back, and we laughed and cried and whooted, and she said, “I always knew it would happen.” And it’s true, she’s been saying this day would come for more than two years, and I never believed her. But I always loved to hear her say it because it kept me going.
When I got off the phone with Deidra I was still sweating.
Truth be told, I did not stop sweating for three days. I think my body went into some kind of overdrive. At night, I lay in bed staring at the ceiling and writing the acknowledgements page in my head (because I am the most vain Christian writer ever) and sweating.
So before I sign off (because I’m sweating again), I want to say two things. First: thank YOU. For sticking with me through this. For reading my story and telling me it counts. For listening to me belly-ache about this journey and for always, always encouraging me with your comments and emails. I would have quit this years ago if hadn’t been for you.
And second, if you’re a writer, and you feel like you just died a little bit inside, just know that I know what you are feeling because I have lived it every day for nearly six years. I get it. I do. Do not, I repeat, do not give up. If your God-given dream is to tell your story, do not give up hope. Keep writing. And trust that God’s timing and his plan are always perfect, even when it feels like nothing is happening at all.