The Curse of the One B+

Since elementary school, I have academically strived for one thing, and one thing only: straight A's.
I have always been a good student. I'm a good reader, a good listener, and I understand and learn new concepts easily.
I've always had the tools needed to get straight A's, and I've always done my best to achieve them. But do you know what I would see on every single report card I got?
All perfect, beautiful A's, and then . . . a B+.
Every. Single. Time.
I couldn't escape it. Even once I got to high school, I could not shake the Curse of the One B+. I would come so close to having straight A's, and then that one stupid little B would ruin everything.
At my school, the necessary gradepoint average in a class to have an A- was 92.8 or above. At the end of the third semester of my Junior year of high school, we received a daunting sealed white envelope that held our final grades in third hour math class. I opened mine right away, internally begging that I would see all A's for once in my life. And you know what I saw?
That's right. All A's, and one B+. And that B+ just so happened to be for the class that I was currently sitting in.
My final gradepoint average? 92.78.
Needless to say, I was a little bit upset. I confronted my teacher about it (he's my favorite teacher, too) and made him look at my report card. He playfully teased me about it, but then admitted that it was quite an unfortunate circumstance. Sadly, he couldn't do anything for me or give me extra credit because these were final grades. I had to live with my one B+.
I graduated high school with honors, but no straight A's.
And now, I realize that this very closely resembles my writing journey. Maybe it resembles yours, too.
You're a writer. You know how to write, you know what to write, and you know why to write. You possess all the tools necessary to write stories and become published, so you strive to achieve that! You want to be published. You polish your manuscript and query letters and send it out to agents. Then you wait, and maybe you edit or work on your next book.
And then you get an e-mail from the agency you queried, and as you click or tap the screen you can't help but internally beg for the agent to offer you representation.
The agent likes your work! She thinks your story sounds interesting! She appreciates you sending it to her!
. . . But she does not feel she's the right person to represent your project at this time.
There it is: your B+.
Sound familiar?
There are tons of times when I have been so close, but so far away from publication. So close, but so far away from my dream. It's upsetting, just like being so close to getting straight A's was upsetting because no matter what I did or how hard I tried, I never achieved my goal. It was, and still is, very frustrating.
Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever get published. Sometimes I wonder if all this hard work I'm doing will ever pay off, because it sure doesn't seem like it will!
But, then again, I never thought I would get my straight A's, either.
Until last semester.
As most of you know, my freshman year of college came to a blissful end about a month ago. My first semester was great, but once again my final grades consisted of all A's and one B+.
By that point, I wasn't surprised. I had gone through years of never achieving all A's on my report card, so this was upsetting, but expected.
But then my second semester ended, and everything changed.
It was so unexpected! I had checked my grades right before finals, and everything looked good except my psychology grade. That was a definite B+. I prepared myself for it.
But when I looked at my final grades online a few days later, I saw that I was wrong. And boy was I glad to be wrong! I ended this past semester with the highest GPA I've ever received, and I could not be more proud of myself.
Because you know what I learned? Things take time. If there's something out there I want, not only do I have to work for it, but I need to be patient for it, as well. I have to believe in myself, and so do you.
Do you want to be published? Are you struggling with feeling discouraged? Do you feel like your hard work will never pay off?
If you answered yes to any of these, then you're most definitely not alone. Every aspiring author goes through this at some point along their writing journey, and often they go through it more than once.
You just have to remember that things take time. God has a plan for every life, including yours. Although things may seem tough or frustrating or just downright impossible, you'll make it through.
Publishing is huge. It's scary. It seems like such a difficult and impossible task. But you know what? I thought getting straight A's was impossible, too. I also thought finishing a book would be impossible, as did many other writers who now have a finished manuscript in their hands.
So when you get rejected, use it to make you stronger. One day, your hard work will pay off. You will be published. You will get your straight A's. All you have to do is persevere. :)

"Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34