Monday, November 3, 2014


By Andrea Merrell

We’ve all heard the old clichés, “Close but no cigar,” and “Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades,” but since everything is relative, how close is too close? How many times have you almost reached your goal, only to have some unforeseen event (or person) keep you just short of that goal?

Maybe you’ve entered a dozen contests and always come up in the top five, but never first place. Maybe you have enough rejection letters to wallpaper your bathroom. It could be you’re a writer who sets daily or weekly goals for projects and word counts, but you always come up short.

We all want the exciting hole-in-one experience, but sometimes a bogey is not so bad. And there’s always the mulligan (or the do-over) to help get us to the goal. The key here is to keep trying.

It’s hard not to get discouraged when you keep missing the mark time after time, but use that time as a learning process. There is nothing written so well that it can’t be improved upon by time, study, application, determination, and downright tenacity.

Over the years, I’ve seen writers have small successes, or maybe no success at all—at least in their own eyes. Many saw themselves as failures and gave up. I’ve seen others who went after their objective like a bulldog, not willing to let go until they arrived at the desired destination.

Sometimes a roadblock—which can appear as failure—is a way to point you in another direction. Many times God has another plan for you and He devises a way to get your attention and point you toward the destination He has for you. The truth is, God wants to be involved in every aspect of your life, including your writing. If He has gifted you with words, offer that gift back to Him as a sacrifice of praise and seek His timing and direction in every devotion you write, every article you submit, every blog you post, and every novel you pour your heart into. Pray, then put feet to your prayers. Your breakthrough will come.

I have personally used every excuse known to the human race for not sitting down to write. But when God calls me to get busy, all my excuses fall flat. As a famous author once said, “You only fail if you stop writing.”

How about you? What kind of roadblocks have you encountered? How do you deal with rejection? We would love to hear your suggestions.

(Photos courtesy of,, and



  1. "Sometimes a roadblock is a way to point you in another direction".= excellent perspective and one that encourages rather than looking at the roadblock as a discouragement. Thank you.

    1. It's hard to see it that way at the time, but generally when we look back on the "roadblock," we can see God's hand. Thanks so much for sharing, Marilyn! :)


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