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.
Thank You Lord for the good news I’ve got so far this week. And for the disturbing ones too. Thank You for You are freely giving me all good things.
Thank You for today’s update, and for reminding me that authors are still receiving contracts so long they do their work. Thank You for agents like Steve Laube.
Thank You for my glass is neither half full nor half empty. My glass is in Your hands, and You are full.
Sister Georjean Allenbach
This is good, encouraging and so true!!! We too are glad we have a glass and there is water in it!!!
Thank you for all you do!
Steve, what a truly WONDERFUL post to help us start the week off right! Thank you!
What a blessing to read this message today!!! My husband and I are waiting and trying to be patient about making the move to another state. We know God’s timing is best and we are thankful for His timing. Every day we need to remind ourselves of all the blessings God has already given us. 🙂
Damon J. Gray
Steve, I love the perspective of jettisoning the ideas of half empty/half full. Just be thankful that I even have a glass and there there is some measure of water in it. That’s a fabulous outlook, and a challenge I needed to hear today. Thank you for that.
Steve, as a writer I sometimes forget that agents have good and bad days, too–multiplied several-fold. Thanks for putting it in perspective.
What a great message to start the week. Thank you for the putting all the challenges and triumphs we experience into perspective. Have a blessed week.
Thank you for your post, Steve. I’ve been in the half empty state before and it wasn’t pretty, so I’ve come to the conclusion that my glass is always on the full side regardless of life’s disappointments. Maintaining my trust in God’s wisdom and direction for my writing life grants me peace.
L K Simonds
“We have to learn to be grateful for two things:
1. That we have a glass
2. That there is water in it”
“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.”
Lovely! I echo others’ comments: What a wonderful prompt to start the week with a Godly perspective. Thank you!
Sarah Beth Marr
Loved this post! Thank you for your encouraging words.
Full with God/empty without? I know what I’m choosing. Thank You Jesus!
Barbara D'Antoni Diggs
What a refreshing way to a Monday morning. When I got to the end and saw the overflowing glass, I gasped. I wasn’t expecting that, and it brought the biggest smile to my face. What a great article! Thanks for sharing.
Great post, Steve, and a wonderful way to begin the week.
Even though there are those close to me who have said – to my face – that I would be better off dead than going through that of which I partake on a daily basis, I still love my life, and my glass is overflowing. (Though I far prefer a pint that’s overflowing with Fosters, thanks, than water.)
In laying aside my dreams and aspirations in favour of embracing each moment as precious and unique in itself, even though it be painful, I’ve learned to fully love, and to be Loved.
It’s a good life.
I must be honest – I have never thought that an agent would have disappointments, challenges etc. Seriously, how silly am I?
At times it’s all “just about us” as authors.
Is my glass half empty or half full? I have had such “encouraging rejections” – is there such a thing? I am so close I can taste it, but obviously God knows best and His timing is perfect.
At this moment I’m not sure how full my glass is. All I do know is I am asking God to give me peace, and that I will not give up! If this novel is not the one, then I will write another which is what I am currently doing. I am passionate about writing, and believe only God could have given me that passion. Now I will just wait on Him with patience (please give me patience Lord!), and pray for His divine peace and wisdom.
Thank you for opening our eyes to your lives and the difficulties as well as the successes you experience.
Blessings to you and Karen
“You are already full….the glass is Full. And that is enough.” I love this so much. I’ve never thought of it quite this way before, but this post was so encouraging!
And there is always someone around you whose glass is close to running dry…and somehow by pouring from your glass into theirs, yours gets fuller! I don’t know how that works, but it does. Thank God.
Amen to that, Katie!
Amen! Thank you, Steve. What a wonderful post. I’m waiting to see if my glass will overflow or leak right now. But you’ve reminded me to focus on Christ and be thankful for the glass and water I do have…regardless of the amount. Again, thank you.
And may God continue to bless you and your agency as you continue the work you love. 🙂
Thank you, Steve, for this honest post and wonderful reminder. I have a glass! And it has water in it! Gratitude is so important, yet comes so unnaturally it seems. My husband and I are trying to practice it by catching ourselves in any kind of complaint and verbalizing the thanks-worthy in the situation. Thank You, God, that I have a glass, and it has water in it.
Rebecca Barlow Jordan
One of your bests posts, Steve. I so agree. In my 35+ years of writing, this has been my constant theme: God is indeed faithful. And I am so grateful. He is a good, good Father in all kinds of situations–including the disappointments and the surprises. Both can take our breath away! Bless you!
Robin E. Mason
um, it’s not a glass it’s a [huge] plastic mug… LOL and it’s usually slam full!! hee hee
Father is always faithful to replenish even when I feel drained and empty, my life is full beyond measure – and perhaps if we see our life as half empty, we are comparing our glass to someone else…
A wonderful perspective and a great reminder. Thank you, Steve.
Wow, Steve. “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.” I will be chewing on this and claiming it. Thank you. That is powerful.
Thanks for this post; it’s powerful.
The Lord is reminding me that it’s not the circumstances I’m in, or even what I think of the circumstances, it’s Him; the Who, not the what, that matters.
Thanks for your insights Steve. A great post!
I’m a glass half-full kind of guy, but I have also taken to looking at the glass in a slightly different way: glasses (half-full or half-empty) can be refilled.
“For there always seems to be a perpetual sense of rhythm that is unstoppable, despite the cessation of a clock’s tick tock, or the sudden halt of a loved one’s beating heart. A rhythm that is independent of our whims and our frets, one that resonates deep within our very being: loving, steadfast and timeless.”
The Granddaughter Clock
I totally agree with you Steve! Millions of people don’t even have a glass to hold, let a lone put water in it.
Sheri Dean Parmelee, Ph.D
Steve, I realize that writing can be an emotional roller coaster but that it ca also be very rewarding. Life is like that sometimes, as well.
A timely reminder! I’m in the middle of a project that’s both difficult and exciting–on a deadline, too–and this task-driven writer needed to remember that her glass is always full. Thank you.
Thanks for that amazing reminder. Thank You Lord for filling my glass up full. Everything else is just the puddle on the counter. It doesn’t matter how big or small the puddle is, when I already have all I need for life and godliness. I have Him.