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When the Contracts Don’t Come

by Vickie McDonough

Since I was first published in 2004, I’ve gone through two long seasons without a contract. The first lasted fifteens months, and the most recent lasted eleven. During my first dry desert time, I remember wondering if I’d written all the books that God had for me. Was I done writing for publication? It was a real time of seeking God and asking questions.

This second desert visit was different. At first, I enjoyed having a break from the hectic pace of constant writing, edits, and deadlines. I didn’t worry that I might be done publishing. I firmly believe that God has a perfect timing for every book to be birthed. A perfect timing so that each story will reach the people who need to read the message contained in that book when they need it. I will admit as time dragged on during the second season, I had some doubts if I’d sell again, but I tried not to dwell on those doubts and to leave things in God’s hands.

Remember the biblical story of Sarai, Abraham’s wife? She asked her husband to sleep with her handmaiden so that she might have a child through her. Ishmael was born, but thirteen years later, God sent Isaac to Sarai, the child He had promised. Ever since then, the children of Isaac and Ishmael have been fighting one another. Things would have been much easier for Sarai-and the rest of the world-had she waited on God’s timing instead of trying to make things happen.

I know I’ve been guilty of trying to wrangle a contract, pleading with God to send me another one, sending my agent ideas to help sell my proposals-as if he doesn’t already know how to do his job. Sometimes God just says wait. I’m trying to learn to not be impatient. God sees my financial need, as he does yours. Finding peace in the waiting isn’t easy, but if we do, then when He opens the door to a new contract, the blessings will be even greater.

Whether you’ve published dozens of books or are still awaiting that first contract, I encourage you to wait patiently and to trust God to be your manager. What better manager could you have?


Vickie McDonough has been an ACFW member for eleven years and is currently the ACFW treasurer. She is an award-winning author of 25 books and novellas, including the Texas Boardinghouse Brides series and the 3rd & 6th books in the Texas Trails series. Long Trail Home won the Inspirational category of the 2012 Booksellers’ Best Awards.

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5 Responses to When the Contracts Don’t Come

  1. Great, encouraging thoughts, Vickie.

  2. Excellent post. I’ve found that submission time is a great time to work on building author platform. Or starting another book!

  3. Thank you so much for these encouraging words! I needed this! I’m still working and waiting and striving for that first contract.

  4. Hi Vickie, thanks so much for sharing this. It was very encouraging. You are a wonderful writer and I expect you will have many more contracts in the days ahead. Thanks for all the times you have encouraged me. I love your books! Enjoy these waiting times with your family and prime the creativity pump for the days ahead.

  5. Great post! It’s easy to overlook the advice to wait on God’s timing, but the sentiment is so true.