When You Just Don’t Fit the Market

I’ve never felt like I fit.

Growing up in the 70s and 80s on Long Island, New York, I didn’t know anyone whose parents (or grandparents) were divorced except mine. I didn’t know any other kids who had to visit their dad on the weekend instead of doing fun stuff with friends. And I didn’t know any other kids whose mother pulled them from the Catholic church when she found Jesus.

I didn’t fit.

In high school, I had my own salvation experience. Jesus had always been my savior, but in 10th grade he became my Lord. I didn’t know any other kids at my school who loved Jesus like I did, who drastically changed their ways over one summer, and who had to find new friends to hang around with the following school year.

Once again, I didn’t fit.

I went off to a Christian college in 1986 and thought for sure I would fit in. But how could a girl from New York ever fit into an evangelical Oklahoma school? I might have had the big hair, but I didn’t speak the language or dress the way they did. When people were fixing to go to lunch, I wanted to know what was broken. Eventually, I found people I fit with and it made my college experience one of the best  experiences of my life, but after college I still struggled to fit into my church, my homeschool and mom groups. I don’t know why, but something always made me feel like an outsider.

Then I found my writing friends, and I finally found my home, that place that you know people love and accept you no matter what because they’re family and they “get” you. That’s what the writing community has been for me and most recently the dance community I’m a part of. I don’t have to explain myself to them, they just get me.

Where is all this going with fitting into the writing market?

The other day I had a chat with my agent about the story he’s shopping around for me. The consensus from editors so far is that the writing is really good, some even loved my writing…but the story doesn’t fit. Not a surprise, really. My last story didn’t seem to fit either. Too edgy, not CBA enough, too melancholy…whatever you want to call it, I find myself not fitting again, and this time I’m smiling.

Why? Because it just confirms the word my pastor spoke in church on Sunday and maybe something God has been trying to tell me all my life. I don’t fit because God doesn’t want me to!

God makes each person unique with different gifts and personalities so they can fit into different places. My pastor said we each are designed to fit in places only we can fit.

So I know there’s a place for me. A place my writing fits, and when I find it I  will be smack in the middle of God’s will, the place he designed for me from the beginning. And I’m sure I won’t be the only one smiling!

Have you found the place where you fit? If not, will you keep searching until you do, or will you conform to fit into a space that was never meant for you?

 

 

19 Comments

  1. Fit…ha! Every time I start getting comfy in some box I know it’s time to jump out of it. Story of my life.

    I love & accept you and I’m so thankful for you!
    ~ Wendy

    • Thank you! Now if you can just convince some publishing house that “not fitting” is the new “fit” then all will be well!! 🙂

      BTW, I feel the same about you! 🙂

  2. thanks for the post:-) I totally hear you about ‘not fitting in.’ I also grew up in northern B.C. Canada, literally where teachers had to live in ‘teacherage’ and since I was the youngest of a 11 children in a farming family…I never did the fun stuff other kids did. Now that I’m older, I realize that I did learn alot from that, but what I’m writing now I don’t think it’ll fit in with other stuff that’s on the market. I’ll leave that part up to God though…as I really feel like He put it on my heart in the 1st place:)
    Thanks for sharing…needed to hear that:-)

  3. Awesome. I relate in so many ways.

  4. Hey Gina,

    Thanks for sharing this post! I’m right there with you my friend. I’ve heard the same phrases from editors and it’s so disheartening. You think, “It can’t be true that this book doesn’t fit anywhere because I know somewhere there are other people who want to read about the same things I want to read about.”
    But I think we’re getting to a place in publishing where we can find those readers ourselves. I’m not arguing for only going the self-pub route or the traditional pub route for that matter. I’m just saying I think in the coming years things will improve for writers like you and me. I hope so anyway.
    But for now, I know how it feels to not fit in, and I’m glad you’re able to say with confidence that it’s because God made you to not “fit in.” I’m on a similar path to find where He does want me be.

    • Evangeline, I keep hearing that song from West Side Story playing through my mind…”There’s a Place for Us!” I used to worry about getting published, now I’m leaving it up to God and where he wants me. I used to be opposed to self publishing or just going the ebook route, now I’m open to “whatever” and I’m lucky enough to have an agent who believes in me and who is helping me find where I fit! My new motto is “Just keep writing and leave the rest to Jesus!”

      Glad to be among your company!

  5. This blog struck a cord with me, and I’m sure other stymied pre-published authors as well. I ordered Cherry Capers today and look forward to reading it.
    Happy to know that all your hard work and sharing of your life and expertise at plodding forward has paid off. I will have to read more of WI, so I will get more inspired to plod forward myself.

  6. Gina thank you so much for this! I too have felt I don’t fit! I am now in the empty nest phase of life, unsure what I am to do now and filling like I don’t fit anywhere!

    Several weeks ago a friend said to me, “why not allow God to show you where you fit instead of trying to fit?”

    You are right, God has a plan and purpose for my life, and the passions He has given me. It’s just good to know I am not alone in wondering where I fit. 🙂

    • Great advice from your friend! You’re not alone, Sharon! I think more people feel like they “don’t fit” than they’d like to admit! And think of it this way, you’re in a great season of life to discover where you fit! Exciting times…embrace them!

  7. Thanks so much, Elaine! I hope others will be blessed by it and hear the truth!!

  8. Such an uplifting explanation of why not fitting is because God wants me to fit right where He wants me to… and I just need to be patient for His timing, whether in writing or anything else in life. This is such a great post that I’m going to Tweet it. Thanks!

  9. Gina, Enjoyed this post. When our family moved overseas to serve as missionaries, I definitely had a season when I felt I didn’t fit. Then ironically, when we moved back to the States, I went through a two year bout of reverse culture shock, when I didn’t feel that I fit in my own country.

    As a writer, I’ve often said to myself, “I don’t fit”. I’ve written two novels set in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, where we were missionaries. I’m presently at work on a third novel, set in Cuba. I’ve been told missionary stories and novels set outside the U.S. don’t sell well. As a result, I chose to self-publish; and interestingly enough, my books are selling. Even so, as a self-published author, I often have those “I don’t fit” feelings. But that’s okay, because I’m convinced I’m writing the stories God has placed on my heart to write, and He will (and is) using them as He sees fit.

    • Thanks for sharing your story, Teri! It’s very encouraging and if we keep that perspective, it’ll all work out. BTW, I happen to love missions and mission stories. I have a middle grade missions story almost complete. (It’s been almost complete for 7 years!)

    • I felt the same thing, Teri, when I came back from missions. And good for you for following your heart and God’s plan for your writing! I think more writers are realizing that self publishing is a viable option!

  10. loved this post Gina. I enjoyed reading about your life and that you shared so honestly. I have felt that way about many things–especially now here in Texas–trying to learn the culture and people. Glad you found where you fit! The writing community is amazing!

    • Thanks, Terri! It helps to share when I remember there are others out there like me (who don’t fit) and who don’t have the ability to share for whatever reason. I still feel that culture shock here, so keep searching, there are good people in Texas. It took me about 15 years to find where I fit, praying it doesn’t take you that long. And if you need some suggestions where to look, I know lots of people in your neck of the woods! Just LMK!

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