Hope Floats

“There shall be wings! If the accomplishment be not for me, ‘tis for some other.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

I’ve been in a frustrating season lately. It reminds me of the time Neal and I went fishing with another couple. We boarded our friend’s boat and went to his favorite spot. We baited our hooks and with great hopes cast our lines. In no time at all the fish hit everyone’s hook but mine. But that was okay, because it meant we were in the right spot to catch our limit and my turn would soon happen.

 It didn’t.

At first I was fist pumping the air, congratulating everyone because, as I said earlier, my turn would surely come. After an hour my fists gripped the pole as I watched that stupid bobber float on the water. I mentally grumbled, “Why are they catching the fish? I’m using the same bait and in the same boat for heavens sake.” I wanted to quit, get out of the boat, break my pole over my knee and go home!

For the past several months I’ve received notices from my writing acquaintances and friends about their awards, three-book deals, and acceptances. And I’ve fist-pumped the air and congratulated them. But as far as my submissions, my writing . . . zilch, zip, nada, crickets chirping.

I have wanted to quit. To walk out of my office, throw my computer in the dumpster and go pout under a shrub. But I can’t. So what do I do? I sit in my writing boat and bait hooks for others so they can catch another contract, earn another award, get another acceptance.

And while this sounds noble of me, it doesn’t make things easier. But it helps me keep my perspective. After all, it isn’t all about me. It isn’t all about them. It is what it is. So while I’m conducting workshops, encouraging writers, and helping them succeed, I keep my eye on my own bobber floating on the water.

A couple of days ago, I got a nibble. Who knows, maybe this time it will disappear below the surface and I will be the one pulling in the deal. But until then, I’ll keep baiting hooks.

How about you? Do you feel invisible while others around you are succeeding, getting promotions, passing tests, stepping over you on the ladder of success? Are you  tempted to bale out of the boat, or are you willing to bait the hook for others?

I suggest you hang in there and keep your eye on your bobber. Hope floats. Persistence pulls it under.


10 thoughts on “Hope Floats

    1. You are right, Meg. I’m seriously considering this for future novels. My novel in progress is being considered by a small publisher but if it is a no go for them, I’ll do just that! My other novel is in contract with my agent.

  1. Oh, child, I feel your pain. Erk, what a dumb thing to say. But I just read where someone self publishing on Kindle has made over a million dollars on his book so far. So I’m sitting in that boat with you, my sales drifting somewhere south of bad, wondering if I should write a zombie novel or an apopolyptic (if I could spell it) novel. Hang in there girl and enjoy the process till something more comes along.

    1. A million dollars???? You know, Paul Young, author of The Shack, self-published and sold a million copies out of his garage in a years time! That made the big pub houses sit up and take notice.

  2. Wow Linda,
    I’ve spent the last three or four years feeling that way. I’m beginning to learn it’s a growth process, albeit it sometimes painful. When I got my first work published, i had no clue what I was in for, and in retrospect that is probably a good thing. I had the opportunity to meet you at the Wild Rose retreat in Bandera (last September?) and I still have your workshop material because it truly resonated with me. No matter what, and despite all the waiting, you are right, persistence will pay off. Keep your eye on that bobber, girl, our time is nearly here.

  3. I started to read your blog the day you sent it, but got swamped with other tasks and didn’t get back to it until today. Divine intervention truly because today my ears are more attuned than two days ago.

    You see, I’ve been sitting in my new business boat. Concept developed and eager hands ready to service, check. Website content written, check. Website published, check. Business cards designed and ready to print, check. Connected with everyone on LinkedIn, check. Emails sent letting people know of the services I offer, check. Here I sit waiting for the fish to bite. My “hope bobber” is floating, but my “persistence” is waning.

    THANK YOU, Linda, for the encouragement that you offer through your awesome writing! I think faith is the bait on the hook. Praying for your gift to be revealed to many others.

  4. I think you’re in a very crowded boat. I’m there with you. But the best thing I’ve found, you meet the nicest people in your boat.
    Hopefully soon we’ll all be hanging out on your yacht.

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