Hi, Renee Ryan here. My April release, THE LAWMAN CLAIMS HIS BRIDE, marks my seventh novel with Love Inspired and is the fourth book in my Charity House series. Even though I consider my writing a ministry, I sold my first manuscript to the secular market. At the time I didn’t see a contradiction in my faith versus my career. I was proud of the fact that I was following Jesus’ command to “go out and make disciples of all nations.”
That first sale brought lots of validation. All my hard work had finally paid off. I’d arrived. I was doing something important. I was God’s vessel. I was woefully misleading myself.
Within months of that first book hitting the shelves I was released by my publisher. Enter a very long, very frustrating dry spell. For months I rationalized why I couldn’t make another book sale. It was everyone else’s fault, of course. Westerns were dead, the market was shrinking, the editors didn’t like people with the first name Renee.
Long story short, the pursuit of publishing my second novel became my obsession, maybe even my idol. Something had to change. So I started working on my relationship with the Lord, something I had let lag to a dangerous level of indifference. I began studying the Word on a deeper level and turning to God for answers, rather than myself.
It was around this same time that I decided, hey, if I was going to collect rejections I might as well swing for the fences and stop playing it safe. The resulting book was my first attempt at writing Inspirational romance. By the time I wrote “the end” I’d found my home. Writing isn’t any easier, but knowing that I’m the quill and the Lord is the Great Author brings unspeakable joy (and peace).
So what’s the point in all this? Simple. Swing for the fences in everything you do, never play it safe and always put the Lord first. The rest will work itself out in time.