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.


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