Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Failure to Launch (or release)


Movie: Failure to Launch
Movie:Failure to Launch

Have you seen the movie, ‘Failure to Launch?’ In the movie, the term is used to describe children who stay with their parents well into adulthood, failing to launch into the world on their own.

There are many reasons for this, just like there are many reason we might fail to publish or launch a book. I can think of a few:

Fear of failure or rejection, lack of money, lack of confidence, wanting to stay in our comfort zone, inability to find the right publisher, lack of commitment to see it through, lack of experience, lack of conviction or belief in the value of our work. Maybe we just can’t quite let it go. Perhaps other priorities have come along. Or maybe it’s just not God’s time yet.

Book 5
Book 6

Today I had planned to let you all know about my releases, Clinging to Rainbows and Forgiving Sky. These final two books in my Aussie Sky Series were originally set for release last October. They’re still not here. 

So what happened?
 
First, a school chaplaincy position became available in the town of Gundagai where I live and God clearly directed me to apply. I love the job, but after being a full time mother of special needs children for the last 13 years I struggled to manage. There was no time left to write. 

Then in late November, my fit and healthy husband collapsed and was found to have a severely narrowed artery in his brain. He was put into the stroke unit in a Canberra hospital. He was unable to drive for 6 weeks, unable to work, unable to care for the children or carry out his usual household duties. I was busier than ever.

Then came the school holidays. Children like a lot of attention and though I love spending time with them, it made it hard to concentrate on the final edits of my books. I couldn’t complete a full thought without one of them calling out, ‘Mu-u-um.’ It’s really very clever the way they can make a one syllable word into three.

Never mind. I could always get to the edits once the children were back at school. I reduced my chaplaincy hours for the year so I could write. But then I received a letter to say the facial bone and sinus surgery I’d been waiting on for over a year would be going ahead in the first week back at school. 

My heart sank. How was I going to get those books out there? Should I get them out there? Was God trying to tell me something?

Even as I questioned and fretted and doubted, I received random emails of encouragement, some from complete strangers, asking when the next book was coming. I still needed them professionally edited and I didn’t have the money. My husband couldn’t work, I had stopped work to look after him and Centrelink wasn’t making things easy.

In faith, I sent my first draft off for editing anyway. Then the second. And within days, Centrelink back-paid us 6 weeks of payments. I could pay my editor! God was in it.

After surgery, I was told not to do anything strenuous. Not even housework (I didn’t cry too many tears over that one). So what to do?

First, I read a lot. One of the many books I read was God’s Panoply by Anne Hamilton. It set clear in my heart and mind the issue of forgiveness I deal with in my final book in the series.

And my mind began to work. In the quiet stillness, ideas flowed and thoughts were clear. So without guilt about the housework, I sat at my computer and edited and streamlined the final book in the series. I typed, slept a few hours, read a few hours, swallowed pain killers, edited and typed. As I typed, I realised that to tie all the books together, I needed to change some things in book 5.
Thank you Lord that it’s not out there yet so I can change it!

Chaplain work
Loving work as a chaplain
As I thought back over book 5, I realised my work as a chaplain had given me experience that helped me flesh out and come to a deeper understanding of some of the issues in the story.

Failure to launch on my part? Or failure to rest in God’s timing?

Maybe I could have had the books out in October if I’d rushed them or made them a priority. They would probably have been okay. But they wouldn’t have been excellent. They would have been launched in my timing and my way without me clearly seeing the hand of God in their launch.

Now, when they launch, I will have confidence and joy, knowing God provided the money, the experience, the heart, the words and timing.

How about you? Have you had a failure to launch? Can you see the hand of God in it? What holds you back from launching your book into the world with joy and confidence? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Jenny is the wife of Rob Glazebrook and the mother of Micah, Merridy, Clarity and Amelia. They live in the country town of Gundagai with lots of pets. Jenny is the author of 5 published novels with many more on the way. Jenny enjoys inspirational speaking, and is passionate about sharing her writing knowledge and experience and encouraging others in their walk with Jesus. To find out more about her and her books, go to www.jennyglazebrook.com







20 comments:

  1. This is great, and thank you so much for sharing.
    I have 10 completed manuscripts that all need fine-tuning and editing. It can be a strenuous and, at times, costly process (especially when you have other bills that have to take top priority).
    So glad you were able to see God's hand throughout.
    Kiah

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    1. Wow, Kiah, you are obviously like me and find the writing easier than the editing - and yes, it costs less to write than to edit and publish! May God give the the encouragement and finances to fine-tune and edit! Like you, I have another 10 novels waiting (all written over 10 years ago). I look forward to seeing your books out there in God's perfect timing.

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  2. Thanks Jenny for this encouragement today. I love how God's plans are bigger than our own, so His timing allows for stuff to be sorted - He's always doing more behind our back than what we are aware! God bless you and your family this year!

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    1. Thanks Carolyn. Yes, I agree we don't see or understand most of what God is doing. We only catch glimpses. Really hope to catch up with you more this year!

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  3. God is good, isn't He! Jenny, wow, what a 6 months you've had. God has His hands on all the little details and His timing is always best. I trust Rob is doing better and you're recovering well. May the Lord continue to heal you both and our His favour and provision upon you.

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    1. Thank you, Ian. Yes, I'm learning that God is good and it doesn't depend on circumstances or my view of things, but who He is always and forever!

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing this, Jenny. It's good to be reminded that God has a perfect time for everything - including the publication of our writing. God bless and I hope that 2016 is a better year healthwise for you and your husband.

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    1. Thanks Sue. May God bless and encourage you in your writing ventures. Hope to see you at the Christian Writers' Conference in Sydney this year!

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  5. Yes, indeed! Maybe a Yass day in the holidays!

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  6. Jenny thanks for sharing such an honest post. Praying for you and your family. This is going to be such an awesome year for you :). xxxxx

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    1. Thanks Nicki. I'm excited about what God's doing with your writing, too! Looking forward to reading more of your work.

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  7. So sorry to hear about all the setbacks you've had Jenny, but so glad to see that it has all worked out in God's timing. That's a really encouraging message that I'll take to heart. Blessings.

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    1. I'm still keen to read your book when it's out, Nola! It's so much better to read a book when you know the author. Bit like the Bible, I guess : )

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  8. Oh dear girl, you sure have been through God's refining fire. And it will definitely radiate in your writing. A bid cyber hug to you and keep on keeping on!

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  9. Loved the way you shared your story Jenny and demonstrate God's faithfulness in troubled times. Thanks,

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    1. Thanks Dale. I know you've had your share of troubled times and have seen His faithfulness, too.

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  10. What an Aussie battler you are, and such a blessing! You're an inspiration :)

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    1. Aww, thanks Andrea. How is the next exciting part of your writing journey going? I'm keen to see what you come up with!

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  11. Hi Jenny, Welcome to ACW and thanks for sharing your story. I'm in the middle of setbacks on my current wip due to life happening. Your encouraging words are what I needed to hear, especially the reminder that God's perfect timing is better than all our well laid plans that can go awry. Blessings to you xox

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