Monday, February 10, 2014

for when you're sitting in limbo

{my girl and my love watching the snow.
they teach me the most.}
I am in the state of limbo that every writer who has ever submitted their work for publication knows intimately. it's the period between submission, the pushing of the words out from your hands to another pair of stranger-eyes, and the hearing of the acceptance or the rejection.

I sent my short story, Coffee, out for publication right around the end of January. I haven't heard back yet, and that's to be expected, as I was told it could be as late as April 1st before I heard anything in either direction. I still check the acceptance page of the publication's website every day.

my friend Brandy says this: just putting yourself out there is a win. aim for rejections. it's so foreign to me, this concept that even releasing your words is a step in the right direction, that a rejection letter is a sign that you did the impossible. you wrote something and sent it out.

honestly? I'm not in that place yet. I can't look at rejections as positive reinforcement, as reminders to keep trying. I haven't been able to stop the heart-pounding when I think, maybe they won't like me. it's reminiscent of being a child, right on the edge of the all-wood playset in the yard of the school, wiggling my fingers back and forth against my legs as I watched the other children chase and swing and toss pebbles at one another.

I just want them to like me. 

writing is vulnerability personified. I've said that before, that exact sentence almost exactly a month ago when I acknowledged that this process is, for me, wandering deep into the lair of a dragon. even more than that, it's realizing that I have no weapon, and that my intent is to ask the beast to share a meal with me. writing is walking up to the Big Bad Wolf, holding out my basket and whispering,

Grandma's not home. do you want to share?

{my writing space}
that's how I can tell that I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. there's a whole new kind of fear that comes when you recognize your calling and understand that breaking bread with dragons can be written in my resume under "job description." it's one of those moments in the tent, the kind where you overhear the Angel of the Lord tell your husband that you're going to have a baby at ninety years old, and you laugh because it's impossible. you have to laugh. it's that or cry.

the website for the publication to which I submitted uses the words "in progress" to refer to a work that hasn't been "completed" {passed on} or "accepted for publication." I think that's prophecy, in it's own way.

I'm still waiting. I'm still in progress, fidgeting a little bit as I wait to hear where my words will go next. I'm still refreshing the page every day, still watching the number beside my name, the one that identifies me as a writer.

I can feel Him looking at me, straight through the doorway of my tent, the place where I sat and laughed when He spoke a calling over me. I can hear the way He shakes His mane, the way the wind whispers through the wilderness and weaves around Him. 

Rachel, why did you laugh? I will return, and you will bear. 


  1. "writing is vulnerability personified."

    Ooh, that sums it up well. I hear you and agree. I'm glad you are brave enough to continue personifying your vulnerability. :)

  2. Hi Rachel, Anne-Marie from Sheloves here. I've had three different comments evaporate! I love so many of your phrases, especially 'breaking bread with dragons," and "Grandma's not home, do you want to share?" It's an impossible job description for us writers - being sensitive and vulnerable enough to communicate ourselves but tough enough to bounce again and again when there isn't a readily visible option for getting the writing out into the world. Thanks for the reminder that belonging begins with getting out there. (personally, I need that). Blessings on your story, hope it finds its rightful place of belonging soon! Thanks so much for the lovely link-up!


I look at you and see all the ways a soul can bruise, and I wish I could sink my hands into your flesh and light lanterns along your spine so you know there's nothing but light when I see you. :: Shinji Moon