If the book of Job taught us nothing else, it is that we should admit we (as humans) cannot determine the cause of problems. We cannot trace someone’s illness to their sins. Natural disasters are not necessarily caused by the sin of the land. It could be the Enemy attacking a perfectly innocent person. We can apply our heart to wisdom and see what we can learn from the problem. Ask yourself the following questions. What is at the heart of the tragedy?
Is it rejection? Have you rejected others? Are you in some way rejecting God? What can you do to comfort others who have experienced rejection? How should you pray for someone who is suffering from rejection?
Is it fear? How can you learn to trust God more? What can you do to comfort others who are experiencing fear? Is there a Bible verse that comforts you that can be used to comfort others? What should you pray for those suffering from fear?
Is it anger? Are you angry at God? Have you been honest with Him about your emotions? What steps can you take to forgive those who wronged you? Is your anger godly anger or worldly anger? How can you help others who suffer from anger? How can help bring about justice for others?
Is it sorrow? What is at the root of the sorrow? How can you remind others to have hope? What acts of kindness have relieved your sorrow? What things bring you joy? How can you bring joy to others? What can you pray for those who are experiencing deep sorrow?
Your problems and trials could be the beginning of a ministry. Your ministry could be geared toward others suffering from the same problems as you, but it all starts from simply being honest about your emotions and talking to God about it. We, as humans, all experience the same feelings at one time or another. It is refreshing to connect with others who feel the same way. Ask God to show you the next step in using your troubles and strong emotions to “love one another” (John 13:34).
When I first began writing, I used http://www.duotrope.com to discover new publications. I submitted every piece of writing to the editors of the publications I found there. To stay organized, I created three folders in my email for their replies to my submissions: a) rejections, b) rejections that requested additional writing, and c) acceptances. Of course, the rejections folder was filling up the fastest. Although the number of rejections was disappointing, it drove me to learn more about the publishing industry. In particular, I wanted to know: What do editors consider “good” writing? As a more experienced author and editor, I now understand the most important factors of good writing.
- Good writing is subjective. Even though my writing was rejected by one editor, eventually some other editor would love it and publish that same rejected piece of writing. This led me to conclude what we all know but (as writers) cannot hear often enough. As individuals, we all have different opinions of what is good. If you have a piece of writing you love, keep submitting it. You just haven’t found the right editor yet—or maybe the right publication.
- Good writing should uphold the mission of the publishing company and fit the theme of the publication. The mission statement of the publishing company is usually stated plainly on the website. Reading the mission and considering it can provide you with the necessary insight to submit the most fitting piece of writing to that particular publication. (Draw Near’s mission is clearly stated on the MISSION & CONTACT page, and the most recent theme appears on the CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS page.)
- Good writing follows the rules of punctuation and contains no spelling errors. Although some writers might think breaking some punctuation rules or making a spelling error is no big deal, it actually is problematic to editors. I strongly recommend regularly reviewing guide books on punctuation and researching every questionable rule of punctuation that surfaces as you write. Additionally, read your writing several times for spelling errors prior to submitting. The competition in the writing industry is fierce. Do not let yourself lose an opportunity based on technical errors.
I hope these tips I learned during my writing journey will help you to get more of your writing published. Don’t let rejection letters steal your hope to become a successful writer. Instead, use those rejections to drive you to hone your skills and to become a more savvy writer. Have a great day and God bless!
Many of my poems are about my addictions, anxiety, and other manifestations of emotional pain in my life. I recently finished going through the Cleansing Stream program, and it has helped me a lot. Cleansing Stream is a series of classes accompanied by prayer that helps people overcome emotional pain. I really recommend it. If interested, click this link to learn more: https://www.cleansingstream.org/
*Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing forever free ebooks.