No More Begging

Submit query letter.

Wait four weeks for reply.

Receive nicely written rejection letter.

Repeat. 

Submit query letter.

Wait four weeks for reply.

Receive nicely written rejection letter.

Repeat. 

Submit query letter.

Wait four weeks for reply.

Receive nicely written rejection letter.

Repeat. 

I can’t do this anymore.

I have to break this cycle of discouragement

I’m not sure why they call creative vocations dream jobs. The process of pursuing your calling is the most challenging process a person will ever have to go through. Jumping over hurdles of rejection and low self-esteem is not for the weak of heart. It takes a certain level of strength to still believe in yourself when no one else seems to.

Well, after years of jumping hurdles and countless rejection letters, I’m done.

…with query letters that is.

I have composed a total of three books that has yet to see the light of day. Why? Because everyone who has the opportunity to read it seems to think it is not worthy of being birthed into the world. Every time I finish something and feel so proud, that confidence is brutally murdered by the slightest negative comment. And you know what I have come to realize? It’s not everyone else…

It’s me.

It’s me. I’m the problem. The only person stopping my books from seeing the light of day is me. Every time I receive a rejection letter or hear disapproval on the topics I choose to write about, I walk away from my babies (my projects). After carrying around the idea for nine months and watching it grow, I abort my efforts suddenly. I lose hope. I eventually stop looking over them and praying for them. I look for something else to nurture. As if those aborted ideas were not worth the effort. But…they are.

Each of the three books I have written is amazing. The words in those manuscripts has the potential to save a life and change the world. And you know what else? I have decided I’m no longer going to beg big name publishers to give me a chance. If they can’t see the greatness and potential in what I have written. They will see once they catch wind of it on the other side of the publishing process.

No more query letters. No more pouring my heart out to agents who only listen when you have 50000000000 followers on social media. No more setting my hopes up only to get politely rejected. No more. No more begging. No more persuading. No more proving the worth of my work.

So, what am I saying?

I’m saying,

I have decided…

…to self publish.

Keep Creating

When I was six years old, I wrote my first poem. I remember the moment very vividly. I was standing in the driveway of my family’s home, when I looked into the sky. It appeared that a storm was approaching, and I could hear the rumble of thunder in the distance. That is when these words rose up from within me:

“What’s that I hear?

A thunderstorm near

Oh my dear”

These words may not seem significant to you, but they mean the world to me. This was the birthplace of my relationship with poetry/writing.

Before I had friends. Before I knew how to communicate with my family. Even before I knew God. There was poetry. Poetry is how I process and communicate with the world around me. I would even say it was the starting point of God’s pursuit of me. When I write, I wish I could say I was the source, but I am not. The words seem to just flow from deep parts within my nephash (soul) that even I haven’t fully experienced. It’s like giving birth.

Last week, I was both humbled and deeply inspired when asked to be a featured artist for an event. I did nothing to deserve that platform. I did not strive for it. I did not ask for it. Yet, it was offered to me by people who could see my art even when I was not creating. I was blessed with the opportunity to display my short film and perform my poetry.

It felt like a dream the entire night. Even as I recited the poem I had rehearsed all week, I could not understand how I had grabbed the attention of everyone sitting in the bar. I could not believe they cared and related to the words of the piece, and I still can’t. However, God wanted to show me what He had been telling me all along.

I am a writer. 

He wants me to create. He wants me to be a storyteller. He did, in fact, place this gift inside of me. My poems are not in vain, and they do matter. They are part of my light. I always believed I was placed here to do great things, but after life knocked me down for seven years in a row, I was starting to think it was just a fantasy. But it’s not. It’s very real. I believe God let me go through the journey I have been on, because he wanted me to remain humble. He wanted to teach me that it will not happen by my strength but by His alone. Everything He promised will happen, but only because of His power. Yes, I still have to be obedient, but I don’t have to map out every detail of my life. Besides, our humanly plans never seem to work out anyways. Instead, I must always recognize that God is in control.

I did nothing to deserve that stage, but God gave it to me. I choose to believe this is only the beginning. I am a writer. I am a poetess. My words matter. I have a story inside of me that only I can tell. All I have to do is…

…keep creating.

The rest is up to God…

…and I think I’m in good hands.

I Have Something to Say

fullsizeoutput_1a17I wish I could adequately put into words the closeness I experience with God. This is my desire, not so that you will feel I am holier or try to mimic how I converse with Jesus, but so that you would be encouraged to continue on your own journey. Life will throw you so many curveballs, and these disappointments will have an impact on how you view God. They may push you to lean more fully on Him because you realize He is the only constant thing in existence, or perhaps they might lead to hard questions and difficult conversations that place a proverbial wedge between you and your creator. Whichever direction you find yourself drifting in, just know God is walking with you.

God is my best friend. I think that is a title that gets thrown around without any real weight attached to it these days, so let me be more specific. He knows me. When I don’t speak, He knows how I feel. In every situation He knows how I would best recieve love, and He gives it. He never condemns me (although He has the authority to), He never focuses on my flaws, He never dismisses my emotions. He listens, He speaks, He responds. (Maybe I’m just oppertating in the image of my father with this site. Hmm…). He is so patient with me. He is so kind. He is the perfect love I always wanted but never really believed existed. He speaks to the life inside of me, and holds my hands through every difficult situation. He is literally my best friend.

Life has been difficult. Every year feels like it comes with a new set of heavier burdens than the year prior. Rejection. Debt. Tension. Discontentment. Hopelessness. Depression. Death. Suicidal thoughts. Disappointments. The list keeps going, but the list will never be bigger than God.

All of this is a long winded-introduction to a simple conversation I had with God last night. Through revelation that could only come from God, I was empowered by this truth:

I love writing, and the world could benefit from what I have to say. 

So, I confessed that outloud to God and my empty room. Then God responded in a way that was a lot more loving than how it will read on this post.

God: Now act like it.

I honestly was beginning to question a lot. Let’s just say I was starting to sound like Solomon when he wrote Ecclesiastes…”Everything is meaningless!” I was beginning to walk away from writing and I definitely abandoned the notion that the world would ever hear the things that I have wrote. However, God reminded me who He created by having me look at all of my creative journals. I found my first book of poems I wrote when I was around six years old. Then, I began reading and watching how my writing has evolved drastically throughout the years. In this moment I realized something that may sound vain to you but was something I needed to be reminded of: I am gifted. I am a writer, and I really do love words. It’s hard work creating and growing as an artist. A dream job is far from dreamy. But I really do love writing, and God would not call me back to something for 19 years (from age 6 to 25) if He did not want to use that. Also, I must choose to believe the world would benefit from hearing what I have to say. If I don’t walk in that truth, it would feel pointless to continue writing and striving to get better. Now, that I know these things and I confess these things and I choose to believe these things, I must act like it.

So, world, listen up:

I have something to say. 

 

 

 

Unanswered Knocks

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My friend,

You push me away when you need me most

Why does tragedy make you hide from love?

I want to give you what most don’t have

Support

But your isolated grief closes the door

Bolts the lock

So outside of your house

I stand

Clutching the flower I bought

To remind you of new life

I watch the raindrops fall

Hitting your window

Now rolling down my heart

When you lock yourself away

We both lose out on friendship

Your pain goes untended;

My knocks go unanswered

-Juaquina She

New Cities

 

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Source: Unknown

Looking down the empty path

I realize some journeys I must take alone

Releasing the anxiety and embracing uncertainty

Standing firmly on what was promised

I take my first step

Into a new world

A new season

I leave everything else behind

The pain, the regret, the rejection

The joy, the people, the memories

I let them all go

Keeping my eyes straight ahead

I let go of the past

I am ready for what will be


Original words by Juaquina She

Identity

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Source: Unknown

The balance of humility and confidence is what I struggle to achieve. It seems like a constant compromise to either self-deprecate or walk with arrogance. I am learning that having a solid knowledge of who I am will keep me from wandering to either extremes. So, where does my identity come from? It comes from the Lord. I am His child. I am loved. and I am royalty. Everything else is a small detail. This is the foundation I build upon on this lifelong journey of discovery. 

-Juaquina She