Madeleine L’Engle quit writing on her fortieth birthday. That was the day her manuscript for A Wrinkle in Time was rejected yet again. Declaring the rejection “an obvious sign from heaven,” L’Engle shrouded her typewriter with a sheet and then promptly burst into tears.
The trouble was, while she paced back and forth in her study weeping and bemoaning the loss of her profession, L’Engle found herself busily working out a new novel in her head. When she realized she was essentially still writing, L’Engle made a decision that would change the course of her life.
“I uncovered the typewriter,” she wrote in A Circle of Quiet. “I had to write…If I never had another book published, and it was very clear to me that this was a real possibility, I still had to go on writing.”
I can relate.
After a six-year journey, my first book, a memoir, was published last spring. I had high expectations for Spiritual Misfit. I figured I’d “paid my dues” on the long and arduous road to publication. I assumed once the book hit the shelves, I’d have “made it” — I’d be a successful published author, and all would be well.
And…that’s not exactly how it all went down.