Sheep struck by lightning

That Time 7000 of Your Sheep Got Struck by Lightning

Rejection is a part of writing. Every time I attend a writer’s conference I hear that. Usually on the first day. Usually in the opening session.

But no one wants to hear that. I mean seriously, I’d be surprised if you’re still even reading this blog post. I should have picked a more positive lead.

But it’s the truth. Rejection is a part of writing. If you’re going to write, you’re going to get rejected. Some editor you send your beloved manuscript to is going to literally fall ill reading it.

I’m kidding about this rejection business. Only I’m not.

The truth is, most manuscripts get rejected for one of three reasons:

  1. It’s not a good fit for the house at the time (it’s just not what they were looking for).
  2. It’s not written well or has errors.
  3. I wrote it.

It’s true: If your manuscript is written well, and is a good fit for the house looking at it, and if I didn’t write it, you’ll probably sell it.

Rejection quote from Ray Bradbury

So, fine, rejection is a part of writing…

But what do you do when the inevitable rejection comes?

If you’re a writer, you’re going to have a bad day sooner or later because of rejection. It’s part of the job. Speaking of which, it’s like Job. You know, the guy in the Bible. He woke up and discovered all his camels died. Then he found out his 7000 sheep got struck by lightning.

Think about that. Scientifically, the chance of a human being struck by lighting is 1,042,000:1. For an animal, it’s probably higher because they have a greater chance of being outdoors when the big one hits. In 2016, a lightning storm in Norway baked an unprecedented 323 reindeer. But that’s nothing. Job had it happen to 7000 of his sheep—all at once. Then he found out his entire family was killed in a tornado.

Not a good day. He may have felt a bit rejected.

Now some people believe God kills our sheep to test us. I don’t believe that. I believe sometimes bad things just happen or, like in Job, the enemy brings bad things our way. But however they come, God uses those times to see what we do, to build our character.


What would you do if all 7000 of your sheep were struck by lightning at once? When it happened to Job, here was his response:

I came naked from my mother’s womb,

and I will be naked when I leave.

The Lord gave me what I had,

and the Lord has taken it away.

Praise the name of the Lord!” (Job 1:21, NLT)

Rejection is a part of writing. It’s all about how you respond to your 7000 crispy sheep that makes the difference.


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