Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Perils of Procrastination - Flora Reigada

The editor's eyes lit up with interest as he read an excerpt from the devotional on which a friend and I were collaborating. This was years ago at a Christian writers conference.

"Email me a copy," he said, sitting across from us. "I'd like to review it."

The words echoed in my mind. They were a writer's dream-come-true. A big smile spread across my face until my friend's hesitant expression made it fade.

"Let me give the book another quick edit," she said. "We'll get it to you soon."
Although my heart sank, I told myself my friend should know. She had worked as an editor.
However, her "quick edit" stretched into endless rewrites for both of us. We emailed excuses instead of the book.
Over the next several years, we submitted it for consideration at two more conferences. Editors expressed interest and each time, my friend declined for one more "quick edit." In her "professional" estimation, our devotional was never good enough.
Eventually, I gave up in disgust and moved on to other projects.

The devotional was relegated to my all-but-forgotten archive files. It never went anywhere; at least that's what I thought until a lazy afternoon found me flipping through devotionals in a Barnes & Noble bookstore. One title stopped me short. It was nearly identical to the devotional my friend and I had written.

I sat down for a closer look, reading devotions with the same message and composition. But when I recognized a name in the credits, my mouth popped open. That name belonged to one of the editors who had expressed interest in the devotional. She had obviously contracted another writer to deliver what we had not.

Turns out, the book was an international best-seller, translated into several languages. It became a series.

I briefly considered legal action, but then remembered the Parable of the Talents, related in Matthew 25:14-30. In the parable, a wealthy man gave three servants talents (money) to invest in his absence. Two invested wisely, but one hid his talent. He was called wicked and lazy and his talent was given to another. That had a familiar ring.
Believing the book contained a message God wanted proclaimed, I declined legal action.

Still, it was a hard lesson and one reiterated in a dream as I heard these words repeated: "We don't get things by wishing."
We get them by being faithful and following through.

Flora invites you to visit her blog:
Amazon author page:

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