Thursday, July 14, 2016

A Time for Yes & a Time for No—Seasons of the Writer’s Life

by Kristin Hogrefe @KJHogrefe

Rejection is part of the writer’s life. How many of us can relate to one of the following?
  • I like your premise, but our house isn’t accepting any more titles in your genre.
  • Your story wants to be there, but it isn’t ready yet.
  • I’d love to represent you. Call me back when you have 1,000s of subscribers.

Yes, we are told that to survive in this industry, we need to develop rhino skin. Maybe you feel like the skin transplant isn’t taking, or your own epidermis remains painfully paper-thin.

Don’t give up. This post is for you.

Seasons for writers

In Ecclesiastes 3:1, Solomon writes:

“To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven…” (NKJV)

The wisest king who ever lived recognized that each season of life brings both good and less than desirable circumstances.

The same truth applies to writers. If Solomon had written a few lines just for us, perhaps they would have read something like this:

To everything there is a season,
A time for every writer under heaven;

A time to write,
And a time to wait;

A time for yes,
And a time for no;

A time to rejoice in personal success,
And a time to rejoice in others’ achievements.

Of course, there are no such lines in Scripture, but the principle remains true. There’s a time for everything.

If today is not the “time” of our choice, who are we to question his timing? Instead of asking God to run on our time, we should be willing to run on his.

Writing for God’s pleasure

One of my heroes is Eric Liddell, Christian and former Olympian. You may be familiar with his story, thanks to the 1981 movie Chariots of Fire.

Liddell qualified to run and compete in the 1924 Olympics. However, when the Paris games released the schedule for running heats, he learned that his favored events, including the 100 meters, were slated for Sunday. Liddell refused to run on the day he believed was set apart for the Lord. Instead, he ran as an underdog in the 400 meters, not held on Sunday. He beat all odds for gold.

Of course, he wanted to win, but he didn’t run only to win. He’s quoted as saying:

“I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run, I feel his pleasure.”

In other words, he ran because God called him to run. He felt God’s pleasure when he ran. (I love this idea!)

Liddell recognized God had a purpose for his life, that God has a time and purpose for everything under heaven.

If God has called you to write, write on even if you’re in a season of rejection letters and closed doors.

If you feel God’s pleasure when you pick up your pen or race your fingers across the keyboard, then don’t quit. Remember, there’s a time for both yes and no.

What “season” are you in as a writer? What have you learned through “yes” and “no” experiences?


Kristen Hogrefe is a YA fiction author and speaker for youth events and professional conferences. She leads an online Word Weavers’ group and takes pleasure in helping other writers share their stories. Together with Bethany Jett, she launched the Build Your Brand Program to teach basic social media topics and help writers build their personal brands.

You can find Kristen blogging each week at where she challenges young adults to think truthfully and live daringly. She craves coffee, sunshine, and good books—and loves sharing them with friends. Say hello at or on Twitter @kjhogrefe.


  1. Thank you, Kristen and Edie, for this fantastic piece.

    1. Thank you, Tami, for your comment! I'm glad this post was a blessing to you.

  2. Thank you for this wonderful way of dealing with rejection. I love the story of Eric Liddell. Blessings for you both.

    1. My pleasure! Thanks so much for your comment, and blessings to you in your writing projects.

  3. Beautiful! No matter what, I feel blessed to be able to write, and it's not something I ever take for granted. Much thanks...

    1. That's so true! Our writing is a gift. Just because it's hard at times doesn't mean we shouldn't keep using it. Blessings to you.