Realizing my dream of being one of the “rich and famous” writers in The Upper Room magazine.
Unlike most black homes in the early 80’s, there were no Ebony magazines in my grandmother’s home.
No Jet or Essence, either.
And WordUp magazine? The one with an almost-naked Janet Jackson on the cover? Banned!
But there was ONE magazine that had a prominent place in her home for my entire childhood: The Upper Room.
I became familiar with the Upper Room at a very young age, when my grandmother Mary Frances would give it to me to read during quiet times. She would often have me read one devotion and then tell her about it.
I would always turn to the back of the Upper Room book to look at the pictures of the people who wrote the stories I read. Since it was a big magazine, I always assumed the people who wrote the stories were famous.
I pictured the writers driving fancy cars and drinking champagne as they wrote their devotions. Can you imagine how amazing that would be? If, instead of celebrities living lavishly, the lavish living was being done by Bible devotion writers? 🤣🤣
Many years later, I was at a church service and was given a more modern version of the Upper Room. It was like my grandmother was with me again, as I thumbed through each story.
Then I remembered the “famous” writers In the back of the book- remember the. writers who I imagined as “rich and famous” when I was a child?
Well you can imagine my surprise when I discovered that they were everyday people. Normal.
Sure, some of them were writers, but the majority of them were just people who love God and wanted to share their story of how they connected scripture with a daily event.
I started to think about how I could submit a devotion for publication? At that point I had been publishing a blog for many years so I definitely had content! So I chose an article, and I sent it, fully believing I would be accepted.
I was rejected.
No worries! I have plenty of stories, right? So I sent another one.
This went on for months and story after story was rejected.
After the seventh rejection, I decided to take a step back- Maybe I was missing something!
Then later that day I went to pick up pizza for an event and had an instance of impatience with a woman in the wrong line — and that moment triggered an idea for a devotion!
It took me a few days but I finished the story and submitted it.
And just a few weeks later, I received an email that it was accepted for publication! It was published the following February, along with my photo. Now I was one of the “rich writers” in the back of the book!
I am sharing this because If you are a writer and you are experiencing rejection, please keep submitting!
And if you are not a writer yet but you have been thinking about writing a book or story, just start!
You never know how your story could help someone else through their storm.
Don’t be afraid.
Write it down.
Send it in.
(Then start writing your next!)