The hesitant proposal - Tania Vaughan

No I’m not talking marriage but a book proposal. I’m hesitating, a lot! I wrote my book proposal in October and 6 months on it is still sitting in a folder on my computer.

I am pretty sure this is the way I want to go with this book, so why the hesitation? Two reasons:

  1. What if they say “no”?

With any form of writing or putting yourself out there you first have to be prepared for rejection. I know it is very unlikely that my first ever proposal will be taken up without some rejection along the way and I need to make sure I’m ready for that. It can be hard not to take rejection personally. I am trying to remember  that it’s not about me personally but about a number of things; the market, the saleability, the expected circulation and of course the subject.

I know all this, but rejection is still hard. Even when I write a blog post or tweet a comment it is hard not to check for comments and responses. I have always told myself that if God is in it, then the person that needs to hear those words will hear them, I don’t need a response I need to trust that his word will accomplish his purpose. (Isaiah 55:1)

I know all this but rejection is still hard. 
I remind myself Jesus was rejected and I’m in good company. (Tweet This)

2. What if they say “yes”?

In some ways this is an even scarier prospect. If they say yes to my proposal then I had better get on with the book! No more procrastinating, I will be subject to someone else’s timetable, I will have deadlines and commitments.

In a life fully committed to God I am a fool to believe the timetable was ever mine in the first place, God determines our steps (Proverbs 16:9).

The book will be real. If they say yes, then it is no longer an idea in my head or words on a page that are mine. They become subject to scrutiny, feedback and opinion and we circle back to rejection. This work that is mine is out there for the whole world (or a corner of it anyway!) and yet was it ever really meant to be mine?

This book is a sharing of God’s truth, I believe it is what God would have me say so why am I holding onto the work I am doing for him? If I release it and give it over to them and to him, then it is his purpose, not mine. (Proverbs 16:3).

As writers we are often right there on the page feeling vulnerable and we can help and encourage each other in practical ways.
  • Share reviews - I am trying to make an effort to head over to Amazon once I have read a book to leave a review.
  • Comment on blogs - unless I couldn’t read the whole post I always leave a comment on blog posts I’ve read because I know how encouraging they are.
  • Interact on social media - I am trying to get better at sharing other peoples posts rather than just my own, to retweet and to Pinterest pictures.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up” Ephesians 4:29. 
As a group of writers lets encourage and build one another up.

If you need help writing a book proposal a good place to start would be our very own Merrilyn's website article "How to write a publishing proposal for your book"

Tania Vaughan started Let's Talk About Ministries after writing her book "Let's Talk About Sex and Relationships - A Bible study for single women".

Through Bibles studies, mentoring and teaching, Tania seeks to encourage every woman to claim the full life that Jesus came to give them. Online Bible studies and her blog can be found on her website


  1. Brilliant post. I agree the fear of rejection can hold us back. We also look for affirmation in all the wrong places. Thanks for this

    1. Thanks Wendy - fear is the thing that hinders what God wants to do in us.

  2. Spot on, Tania! An excellent post - about the frailty and fears we all share. But also about the great God we seek to serve, and the fact that we're asked only to scatter seed. Harvesting may come, but it may be others who do the reaping - and we may never know. Like you, I seek to encourage others by leaving comments whenever and where ever I can. So let me tell you, I'm convinced that your seeds will flourish and will feed and nourish your readers.

    1. Bless you and thank you for your encouragement :)

  3. Rejection sucks! I had a fab US agent and 15 of the 16 publishers said no - or didn't even respond. That hurt. And by a fluke, I saw one publisher's review of my ms, which I'm sure I wasn't intended to see. That really hurt! But it was the wrong book to write; I see that now. And the one publisher who said yes is the right publisher for me. So I can relate to your fears. Rejection hurts, but God uses it and redeems it. Thanks for a thought-provoking post.

    1. I am trying to trust in that 'right' publisher or works - If it is meant to be it will :)


Post a comment