Guest Author Katie Ganshert – Struggling Through Rejection

Today on my blog we welcome guest author Katie Ganshert. We will be giving away a copy of her new release: Wildflowers from Winter to one of you who leaves a comment.
Katie Ganshert was born and raised in the Midwest, where she writes stories about finding faith and falling in love. When she’s not busy plotting her next novel, she enjoys watching movies with her husband, playing make-believe with her wild-child of a son, and chatting with her girlfriends over bagels. She and her husband are in the process of adopting from the Congo. You can find her online at her blog and on Facebook.

Struggling through Rejection

No is a hard word to hear, especially when it’s something we really want now.

But hindsight is a beautiful thing. It gives us the ability to see God in the no’s.

It gives us the ability to see those no’s for what they are.

Not never.

Just not right now.

And let me tell you, my debut novel, Wildflowers from Winter, has seen its fair share of not right now’s.

I entered the manuscript in multiple contests. It didn’t final in a single one. One judge even told me the story would never be published in the CBA.

I queried multiple agents. Then went on to receive many no thank you’s. One was particularly crushing. I had a very unexpected encounter with an agent at a writing conference (no, I didn’t follow her into the bathroom).

Let’s just say it felt like a divine appointment. She expressed a lot of interest. I was super excited. But she ended up passing. Although she liked my writing, she didn’t think Wildflowers was the book that would get me in the door.

When I did get an agent, we submitted this story to multiple publishing houses. What did we get back? A couple rejections and a whole lot of silence.

I remember feeling deflated. I remember feeling like it would never happen. I mean, if these agents said no, why would anyone else say yes? And if these publishing houses didn’t want the manuscript, why would any other publishing house want the manuscript?

Looking back now, I can see God’s hand all over it.

His timing truly was perfect.

Because I wouldn’t want any other agent than the one I have now. I wouldn’t want any other publisher than the one I have now. And I wouldn’t want any of my other novels to be my debut, despite really really REALLY hoping that my first two would get me a book deal.

I know it’s easy to get discouraged in the midst of the waiting. I know it’s easy to lose heart in the midst of the no’s. But take heart. Instead of seeing those no’s as dead ends, see them as detours. Instead of seeing them as closed doors, see them as one step closer to the right door.

Quite often, those no’s are just preludes to the perfect yes.

Let’s Talk: Do you struggle with No?

*Remember to leave a comment for a chance to win Katie’s new book.


About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

44 thoughts on “Guest Author Katie Ganshert – Struggling Through Rejection

  1. Pat Trainum says:

    Do you struggle with No? Yes and no. The part of me that doesn’t want to wait struggles mightily! But, the part of me that sees God’s hand, especially in the rejections, has peace in the waiting. I shudder to think where I would be if by some mistake my first submissions had been published! Looking back, they are terribly awful. lol

    And as for agents, the one who took me on recently is the one God had for me. Two years ago when I would pray about getting an agent, He brought this particular agent to my mind. But I didn’t submit to her–because she only wanted a full manuscript and my book wasn’t finished. In the meantime, I approached (and was approached by) several agents, all of them great and one by one, they nicely rejected me.

    This writing business is a little like walking on water. As long as I keep my focus on Jesus, I don’t sink into the waves.

    Great post, Katie. Thanks Michelle for having her!

  2. Amy Hahn says:

    It is hard for any of us to really wrap our arms around “God’s time”. But he is the one who knows what is best for us each and every second,. No is never easy…no matter who it is from.
    Looking forward to reading your book Katie, thanks for reminding us to believe in ourselves!

    • Hi Amy! I totally agree. Anytime I start trying to wrap my mind around anything about God, my brain hurts and then my complete inability to do so leads me to worship. How awesome that we worship a God bigger than anything we can comprehend!

  3. Stacy Monson says:

    God is determined to teach me patience. And I think some of that teaching comes through posts like this. Thanks for a fabulous reminder, Katie.
    And I LOVED Wildflowers – truly. I’ve actually read through it several times to understand just what it is that made me connect with the characters and care so much about the story. Can’t wait for the next one. And please come back to MN for your booksigning! 🙂

    • Stacy – you totally made my day! Thank you so much for such encouraging words. I’m humbled that you’ve read through it several times because you think I did something right! I’d love to say it’s all me, but I have a pretty phenomenal editor who helped me whip the thing into shape. 🙂

      It was so fun meeting you in MN. Can’t wait to reunite at ACFW!

  4. Heather says:

    Thank you so much for sharing with us. I got some negative feedback on a short story yesterday that has me feeling down, so I really needed this!

  5. M. Saint-Germain says:

    Hi Katie! I felt like you were talking to me. I needed to hear your encouraging words as my ms is being shopped around right now. Out of eight publishers we are down to four. Meanwhile I keep writing trying to stay distracted. Congrats to you and I look forward to checking out Wildflowers.

    • Be encouraged, M. Saint-Germain! I remember when I received two rejections in one night from two different publishing houses, thinking, “Why will ANY other pubs take this if these two don’t like it?” I remember thinking it would never happen. But it just takes ONE yes and this business is so subjective!

  6. dtopliff says:

    I don’t have an agent yet, but one wants to see my current WIP when I finish it. However, I just read your book (after discovering you thru the 4-author online debut party–I’m one of Beth’s friends) and absolutely love it. I really appreciate how you realistically develop the tug of war emotions through to convincing conclusions. I wish you well and am so ready for your sequel.

    • Yay! I’m so glad you came to the debutantes soiree! It sure was a fun evening! And I’m equally glad that you enjoyed Wildflowers from Winter. Thanks so much for the encouraging words! I hope you enjoy the sequel in March!

  7. jeannemt says:

    Katie, I appreciate your post. It’s always difficult for me not to take “No” too personally. Separating who I am from the “no” can be tricky. 🙂 “But hindsight is a beautiful thing. It gives us the ability to see God in the no’s.” Such words of wisdom here. Thanks for the reminder to look for God not only in my writing life, but in every area of life. 🙂

    Hope the adoption process is going well!

    • You and me both, Jeanne! When it comes to seeing God in the waits of life, in the “no’s” of life, I have so much room for improvement. I’m definitely a WIP – work in progress. 🙂 I love that God is so patient with me.

      The adoption process is moving along. Turtle-like progress. But hey – slow and steady wins the race, right?

  8. Great post, Katie and since I am currently enduring “the wait,” it was perfect timing (and something I definitely needed to read today). I do not take rejection well but know that God is working on me (and my issues with it), through this writing journey He’s sent me on.

    Thanks again for the wonderful post!

    • Hi Jenny – fun to see you over here! Sorry you’re dealing with a wait. I am too (although not in my writing life). It’s crazy how much God uses our writing journeys to refine us, isn’t it? at least that’s the case with me!

  9. Lindy.Enlow says:

    I struggle with no regularly. Mostly because I am stubborn and want to do things on my own. It’s remembering the advice from my pastor who was in his 50’s fighting a losing battle with a brain tumid that keeps me going. Before he passdd away this spring he said all things happen in His time and that we should just pray and hand our troubles and challenges over to Him. Then……have faith. I would definitely think writing falls into the challenging category.

    I enjoy reading and can appreciate all of the hard work that goes into a book from concept to completion.

    I have learned patience from this advice from my pastor.

    • Sounds like a pretty wise pastor. I’m stubborn too, Lindy. A trait that I think I might have passed along to my young son. Sometimes, when he’s fighting me on something I know is good from him (like eating his vegetables or going to bed), I can’t help but see a reflection of myself and how I respond to God’s prompting so often in life.

  10. Ladonna says:

    I think we all struggle with being told “no.” I think that is human nature. I watch my young sons, and they do not like being told “no.” But what they don’t realize is that is for their own good, just as God telling us “no” may be for our own good as well.

  11. territiffany says:

    Thank you for sharing this. It’s easy to think that published authors had it so easy and I know I forget that they probably struggled like I am now. You have encouraged me to keep at it. Thank you!! So glad your book was published! It is awesome!

    • Thank, Terri!! I’m realizing that everyone has a story and every story is filled with its fair share of ups and downs. Just when I think somebody has it made, I catch a glimpse behind the veil and realize the grass isn’t as green as I’m making it out to be. So excited that you’re falling back in love with writing again, Terri!

  12. “No” is really hard to hear, especially when we want the “yes” so badly. When we’ve worked hard for the “yes.” When we see no reason for the “no.”

    But God is bigger, and greater, and He knows all things. He’s teaching us something in the waiting, if we’re willing to listen and learn.

    Not always easy. For sure. But worth it if we do.

    • Oh – so true! When we don’t see the reason for the no, that makes it a thousand times harder. That’s when we just have to trust that He is good and He has a plan that will ultimately draw us closer to Him.

  13. Katie, Wise words, forged in the fire of despair that flares when we keep hearing “no.” Those of us who’ve been there have learned, as have you, that man’s “no” often is God’s “not yet.” Thanks so much for this encouraging post–and congratulations on the success of Wildflowers In Winter.

  14. Hi! I really enjoyed the interview. So glad you didn’t give up! 🙂

  15. I do struggle with this, despite the few encouragements I’ve received along the way. I’m learning so much from blogs, Twitter, etc. on the Internet, still hoping that perfect agent is just around the corner . . .

  16. Gabrielle Meyer says:

    Thank you for this post, Katie (and Michelle). I haven’t even queried yet, or entered a contest, but I’m already so afraid of the no’s. I keep hoping I will have a Cinderella publishing story, but in reality, I know I will have to shoulder my share of rejection. It’s a crazy thing about writing – all the rejection we set ourselves up for, but when you know that you need to write, you keep at it, believing that there will be a big yes somewhere along the path. Katie, I’m so happy that you received that yes and that you didn’t give up after the first no.

  17. Tammy Kirkland says:

    Absolutly, I struggle. I’ve been writing for a very long time. Nothing matching the feeling of pleasure while writing but the moment it goes in the mail, a huge knot developes in me. Going to the mailbox everyday takes so much courage. I’ve been at it long enough that I even classify rejections as bad, form letter, or good, personal note! However, something happened a couple years ago that caused me to realize that I am a writer, published or not. On the hard days, That peace sustains me. I do believe someday the pieces will fall into place and when that happens, I’ll use my experience to encourage other novice writers because I save all the rejection letters in a notebook. One day, I’ll share those in a “see here” kind of way!!

  18. Yes, I struggle with ‘No’ – and it’s not just in my publication journey. Sometimes we want that next big thig, whether it’s the house, the car, the job… the perfect contract. We always think we know what’s best, don’t we? : ) I wonder if that makes God smile.

    Thank you for sharing this, Katie. I thought I was alone in my thoughts about this. But I see now that quite a lot of us struggle with timing, and waiting on God. I am so happy that your talents and hard work have paid off – now you get to use your life and your amazing words to bless others! (P.S. You’ve blessed me today, more than you know.)

    Prayers and blessings to everyone here!

  19. Kelly says:

    Reading this post has come at the perfect time for me! I’ve been hearing No for a while now and have recently started to think about hanging up my hat. After reading this, maybe not. Thanks Katie for the reminder!

    • The one thing I see to be the most common shared attribute among published authors isn’t the talent or personality, but persistence. My agent wrote a blog post once about how we should see those “no’s” as walls placed before us to test how badly we want it. We can either let the wall stop us, or climb over and become stronger in the process.

      Here’s how I see it…

      Do you love writing? Does the process of writing and pursuing publication draw you to your knees, closer to God? Then, friend, you are probably right where you’re supposed to be. 🙂

  20. Katie, I really needed to read this post today. I’ve experienced a great deal of discouragement over the past year. Last summer, my agent unexpectedly quit her job. Since then, it’s been one no after another, to the point where I’ve let my confidence become completely eroded and have seriously considered putting my writing on a shelf until another season of life. I think the Lord knew exactly what I needed to read this Saturday morning. Thanks for being His vessel.

    • Oh, Renee, my heart goes out to you. That sounds like such an emotional roller coaster. First you get an agent – which is a HUGE celebration! And then she leaves her job. 😦

      So glad God used my words to minister to you this morning. Be blessed, friend.

  21. […] guest posting on Michelle Lim’s blog today about the rejections Wildflowers from Winter received before it found a home. I hope it […]

  22. Thanks for sharing, Katie. You are so right–God has perfect timing. So glad He put you with your right agent and brought your debut book out. Blessings!

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