Kleenex Party – When Writing Disappointments Get You Down

Photo by davidlat

Photo by davidlat

Yesterday we celebrated with those who were Semi-Finalists in the Genesis Contest. Our Winners of the $10 Amazon Gift Cards are: 

Heather Day Gilbert  and  Susan Crawford

Today’s Prizes are in the true spirit of a Kleenex Party. Those who Comment will be entered in drawings for the following:

Bunny Slippers:


Ben & Jerry’s Flashdrive:



Just as we rejoiced with those who rejoiced yesterday, today we will weep with those who weep.

So crack out your bunny slippers and bon bons, today is a day to deal with those disappointments along the writing journey.

I’ve worn those same slippers many times and lifted that scoop of Ben & Jerry’s to my lips. Something I learned from two of my treasured friends on this journey, Lisa Jordan and Beth K. Vogt, is that it is okay to take a day to grieve.

Give yourself a day or two to admit you’re discouraged and sad. It is totally normal. Your dreams are big because God gave them to you, but once in a while there are set backs on the journey.

Tomorrow, pick yourself back up and get back to work. But for today, let yourself grieve.

You have cheered others on and been a good sport, but disappointment still stings. I have great news for you.


As sure as you are wearing your bunny slippers, your day of success will come. So, today’s party is for you!

Tell us your favorite Kleenex Party Treat, Leave a Word of Encouragement or a Scripture to encourage those who are having a Kleenex Party Type of Day.



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.

27 thoughts on “Kleenex Party – When Writing Disappointments Get You Down

  1. To those who did not semi-final in the Genesis: Never forget you are a writer. You opened your veins and poured those words onto the page. Then you sent it out. That makes you a writer. I didn’t semi-final so many times, but I kept writing and kept learning the craft, moved up from non-finalist to semi-finalist to finalist to book deal. So hangeth thou in there!!

  2. bethkvogt says:

    I won’t repeat the line “Contests are so subjective” because you’ve heard it a gazillion times! (Pardon the exaggeration.) Go ahead. Embrace the disappointment. I remember sitting in my car and realizing “I’m not going to get a call that I semi-finales.” Ugh.
    So mope — for a bit.
    Whine even — for a bit.
    Console yourself with ice cream or chocolate — or both — for a bit.
    And then get back at it.
    I pray that God will bless the work of your hands. (Ps. 90:17)

    • Michelle Lim says:

      Beth, thank you for teaching me the importance of allowing yourself to grief disappointments. I’m happier for it. It makes the moment when you choose to move on so much more energized and determined.

  3. How about if I supply some background music for your Kleenex party? The Worship Collection by Kutless really gets me to focus upward instead of inward.

    The verse that motivates me to move on after disappointments is Philippians 3:13-14. “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me Heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

  4. dtopliff says:

    Seeds planted grow eventually because they have life in them. If they stay in the package and aren’t planted, they won’t grow, so plant in faith and pray for God to water 🙂

  5. Though the sorrow may last for the night, joy comes in the morning. God is good…all the time. Whether we semi-final or not. Even…whether we are published or not.

    Like everyone else is saying, it’s okay to grieve! Get some ice cream. Watch a sappy movie. Remember why you love writing–it isn’t for the accolades, it’s for the simple joy of the thing. And because God has called you to it.

    If all else fails, put on some music and dance–even if you don’t feel like it. Funny how music can change our perspective on things. 🙂

  6. I didn’t semi-final in the Genesis last year, and it hurt deeply because my submission came from the story of my heart. But I didn’t stay down, and bought myself some writing craft books and dug in. And you know what? I became a better writer. All because I lost the Genesis and realized I had so much more to learn. Hugs and blessings to you all!

  7. Hey Michelle, Cool, I even bought a box of tissues, but my allergies took toll of them. I want to congratuate all who were honored in the genesis contest and also thank all who have judged our entries. I plan to learn from the comments. Thanks to all. Shirley.

    • Michelle Lim says:

      Shirley, I’m so glad you joined our Kleenex Party and especially for sharing the tissues…well, it was the thought. I agree, we should definitely Thank the judges. Praying for you!

  8. As a two-time Genesis finalist, I can say that getting that far doesn’t guarantee you a thing. In fact the Genesis has been known to snub writers and books that went on to do really, really well. Gina Holmes, Katie Ganshert, anyone? Yep, never made the cut.

    Sometimes a truly good book doesn’t make it. Sometimes your judges weren’t your target audience. That happens. But God knew all about it before it happened. It was no surprise to Him. And it wasn’t something He couldn’t control.

    Writing is such a hard, hard career, and as Christians we have to remember that God knows what He’s doing with us. Completely. He’s not just watching from some corner of the sky. He’s active. He’s involved.

    Does that mean not making the cut doesn’t hurt? Of course not. It does. It’s frustrating. It can make you want to quit.

    So take a day, a week, to mourn. To tell God how you feel. To share your hurt with Him. Read some Psalms. And as you do, I bet you’ll feel like David, that while you begin low, you end up much higher. If you’re His child, God has you in His hand. Nothing happens that He doesn’t allow. He has a plan for your life, a plan for your writing. Let Him work in you the way He wants to. Be teachable. Listen. Learn. Praise Him whatever comes, and keep following Him and His plan–writing?–for you.

  9. YAY, I won the gift card! What a bright spot in my day!

    And I’m working my way out of the Kleenexes (metaphorically speaking). Good points above, Sally. I have to be thankful for the editors who’ve seen what I write and have liked it. I’m thankful I have an agent and another book going out on proposal soon. I have MUCH to be thankful for, and I’m not going to let this throw me into that “AM I A WRITER” funk. Truth is, it’s subjective–for judges, agents, and publishers. And I believe someone out there is looking for what I write.

    Thanks for this opportunity to commiserate a bit today. But let’s not wallow. Always move forward, no matter how many rejections you get, if you KNOW you’re supposed to be doing this. If God ever tells me to stop writing, that will be the day I’m out of this gig in a heartbeat. But till then, it’s 110% and pedal to the metal.

    Thank you SO much for the gift card! My email is heatherdaygilbert (at) gmail (dot) com! And thanks for these congrats/sympathy posts, Michelle!

    • Michelle Lim says:

      Congrats on winning the drawing, Heather! I’m glad that you are standing up and moving forward. That’s the first important step toward the great things God has planned!

  10. Amy says:

    I had the strange experience of BOTH rejoicing and weeping… in the same year! This is my first time entering the Genesis, and the Historical Fiction entry I hoped would do really well didn’t make the semi-finals… but the Contemporary story I thought would never even be finished DID! Admittedly, my moping day came first (along with consuming an entire bag of Swedish Fish!), but I am rejoicing now. It really help me to process my thoughts and emotions through a couple blog posts. The bottom line for all of us is, if God has called us to write and gifted us with the ability and desire to glorify Him with our words, do you really think a few anonymous contest judges can stand in His way? 🙂 He is in control. He knows exactly where we’re going. And how He’s going to get us there. Success and failure are just two types of dips on this long and winding road we call the Writing Life. Embrace it.

  11. Well said, Sally. Your words are always an encouragement.

  12. Ashes says:

    I do not usually comment in fear I will annoy people… But today I simply have to. I myself have faced both rejection and success with my writing career many times. For those who won….YAY! GREAT JOB YOU GUYS!

    And for those who are currently clutching a notebook (and maybe if you are really down in the dumps, a teddy bear) I leave you with the words I carry everywhere with me no matter what: Do not go gentle.

    It is a little exert from Dylan Thomas’ most well-known poem, “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.” Always follow those words, my fellow writers. They will give you strength- even through rejection!

    Congratulations to everyone who participated in the sorting contest! 🙂

    • Michelle Lim says:

      Oh, I am so glad you commented! What wonderful truth to share…you are now by officially encouraged to leave comments. Thank you Ashes for sharing your experience, I love that quote!.

  13. Susan Crawford says:

    I’ve experienced more disappointments on my writing journey than successes, but pushing through all the hard stuff makes the few-and-far-between successes really sweet. A friend of mine likes to say that you can’t experience the true depth and richness of joy until you experience the pain and darkness of mourning. I think that’s true in all areas of life, and I’m finding it especially true on the writing journey.

    To everyone who entered a contest — YOU’RE A WINNER! Period. You poured your heart into a project and FINISHED IT! And then, you didn’t listen to those mocking inner voices of doubt and fear. Instead, you took a deep breath and said a prayer and clicked “submit.” You’re going after your dream! Every step along the way counts.

    If you were disappointed this week, my heart aches with you. Your joy is coming, and it will be beautiful.

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