Is Your Glass Half Empty?

Over the decades it has been interesting to listen to and read the various pundits regarding the publishing industry. Typically those who spell out doom and gloom get the attention (fortifying the idea that “if it bleeds, it leads”). At the same time there is the optimist position which is often derided for being unrealistic. After awhile I’ve learned to smile and simply get back to work. It has always been hard in Christian publishing, we just have to adapt to the new challenges and hurdles. We learn to maintain an even keel.

But on a more personal note I have to admit that difficult news can be a heavy load to bear. I find myself on certain days feeling like my glass has a leak. It becomes half-empty rather quickly. Despondency, dismay, and distress cloud my thoughts and my spirit.

Take one recent week:
–In one day three publication boards turned down three different book proposals for three different clients. I was the bearer of bad news.
–Royalty statements arrived from a publisher but the accompanying check was 40% less than the same period a year before.
–A potential major client chose a different agency to represent their work.
–Had to drop a client after repeated misunderstandings which made the working arrangement no long fruitful for either party.

Yet, on certain days I find myself on the top of the world. Feeling like the glass is going to overflow with joy and excitement. That jubilation brings with it a glowing smile and a confidence that anything is possible.

Take that same recent week:
–A publisher took a client’s single book proposal and turned it into a two book offer. And we were able to negotiate the best contract this author has ever received.
–Landed a debut non-fiction author his first book deal. A strong publisher with strong contract offer.
–A client received an endorsement from a major author for their new book release.
–Negotiated five other new contracts for clients.
–A royalty statement arrived from a publisher and the accompanying check was 40% greater than the same period a year before.
–Signed two new clients to the agency.
–A client won a significant award for their book.

So which is it? Glass half empty or glass half full?

It’s both isn’t it? In that described week there was enough to sink into depression but also enough to climb to the highest heights.

We have to learn to be grateful for two things:

1. That we have a glass
2. That there is water in it

All of life is full of ups and downs. Disappointments and victories.

I am grateful for having a job that I love. To have an incredible team to work it with. To have amazing clients to serve. And to have publishers and editors who strive for the same goals, to publish books of significance. I’m grateful for a family whom I love and who love me in return. And so much more. It is good to rehearse those things for which we are grateful.

Therefore, the next time you get the bad news from your agent, your editor, your family member, or your workplace, count the times when you got the good news too. Both have come and will come.

Ultimately however, remember in the midst of it all, for those who are in Christ, God gave Himself so that you may “know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph 3:19) If you are “filled with all the fullness of God” there isn’t any room left for you, for me, for disappointment, for rejection, for sorrow, for acceptance, for contracts, for victory, for riches, or for complaint. You are already full….the glass is Full. And that is enough.


Leave a Comment

The Writer’s Responsibility

When you decide to pursue writing as a career or even an avocation, you probably are unaware of the responsibility bestowed upon you by the decision. There is no official ceremony involved, but there should be. This responsibility will change the way you interact with friends and relatives. It could …

Read More

The Damaged Author

Anyone can easily identify a person who has been damaged by life and in need of help. The same is true with damaged authors. If you are in this category, writing about your experiences and the lessons learned can be both cathartic and spiritually fruitful, but taking a damaged-life perspective …

Read More

Writing the Deeper Story

I realize this will probably date me, but I sincerely enjoyed a popular radio feature by Paul Harvey called, “The Rest of the Story.” I assume some reading this post today also remember it. For generations, the venerable radio commentator, who passed away in 2009 at the age of 90, …

Read More

Amnesia: The Key to Success

At some point, anyone involved in motivational or inspirational communication will touch on the necessity of leaving the past behind and moving on from a painful experience or time of life in order to grow personally or professionally. Millions of people spend billions of dollars each year on counselors helping …

Read More

The Isolated Writer

In general, writers do not do their best work in a group. The very nature of creative writing is a solitary pursuit, but without taking great care, can morph into a feeling of isolation. And this can occur whether an author lives in a quiet rural town or in midtown …

Read More

The Writer’s STEP

As some of you know, I have asthma. As does one of my very best friends. And you know what these two…ahem…”seasoned” asthmatics love to do? Hike! Yup. We plod along, coughing and wheezing and laughing (or, to be more accurate, gasping) about how they’ll find our poor deceased selves …

Read More

Writing from Weakness

I believe some of the most powerful books ever written by Christians will be published in the coming years. Why? Despite our best efforts, Christians failed to transform culture through the ballot box, boycotts, ministry/church programs and use of the media. Worldwide, Christians are not a moral majority but an …

Read More

Not So Great Customer Service

In publishing, all of us are really in Customer Service. The agent serves the writer. The writer serves the editor. The editor serves the publisher. The publisher serves the reader. Of course, there’s lots of overlap, but you get the idea. Recently I had a not-so-great customer service experience when …

Read More

When You Have One of “THOSE” Days

by Karen Ball You know the days I mean. The days you ask yourself, “Whatever made me think I could do this?” or “Why couldn’t I just sell shoes?” or “Are you sure that’s how you spell it’s? It looks stupid. It’s, it’s it’s. That can’t be right, can it??” …

Read More