My grandfather used to tell me when life closes a door, God opens a window. It’s a saying I’ve repeated many times during my life, often to myself — and one I try to keep in mind whenever I meet with disappointment.
After receiving a couple of form letter rejections for the first two books I ever sent out for publication (and well deserved rejections, I might add!), I sulked for a bit, then picked myself up and tried again. I studied everything I could get my hands on about romance writing. The next book I wrote was much better than those earlier attempts had been. Because of those early rejections, I signed with my agent, who has enriched both my life and career during the past 20-plus years.
I had high hopes for my next book, and there was some initial interest in it, which made it all the more disappointing when the editor who’d finally asked to see it turned it down. So, I tried yet again — and sold to Harlequin. Had the previous book sold, I might have been locked in with a romance line that no longer even exists. Harlequin has been a wonderful publishing home for me for all these years, and I’m thrilled to still be writing for them.
I used my grandfather’s quote often when my children were growing up. Whenever they encountered a rejection or a disappointment, we made a habit of watching for the good that came out of it — and something always did. When my oldest daughter didn’t make drill team in high school, she joined the school choir, instead — and loved it, making friends there she maintains to this day. When my second daughter suffered a similar disappointment, she became active in a club in which she excelled, and which led to many opportunities for her. Not getting their first choice on a list of options was almost always a blessing in disguise, though it sometimes took a while for that to become clear. Even major detours in their adult lives have led to rewarding paths they might never have discovered otherwise.
There are days when it’s hard to keep faith in my granddaddy’s adage. Times when it doesn’t seem anything good can come from the obstacles life throws in our way. And yet, there’s always something we can point to and say, “That’s it. There’s the bright spot in the darkness. The purpose for what we’ve been through.”
I hope your silver linings shine brightly through the upcoming week.
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