disheartening

The news wasn’t surprising. Not at all. But it still stung.

I didn’t cry like last time. Well, not at first.

I might as well just say it. You know my book Changing Your World One Diaper at a Time? It’s going out of print. Sales had slowed too much for the publisher to justify keeping it stocked.

I know. Sad stuff. Disheartening, discouraging. It hurts.

I do know it’s not the end of the world. But I feel like I’m at a crossroads in my life/ministry/career. I can’t seem to see through the fog. Everything appeared to be going along so smoothly. One published book a year for the past four years.

And then I hit a wall. And now another wall.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. The speaking thing was an afterthought, something I did to keep my writing alive. Now, the speaking thing is taking off (with no help from me), and the writing is at a standstill.

Part of me wants to figure it all out right this minute. Part of me wants to keep plodding mindlessly along and trust that God will reveal His plan as I go. Part of me wants to take a big, long break from all of it and come back in a few months. Or never.

I’m speaking from a very raw place right now which might not be the brightest idea, but I don’t really care. It is what it is. I am what I am.

The publisher offered to sell me the rest of the copies in their warehouse at a deep discount (just like Blushing). I hate the thought that I just got rid of all those books in my closet just to make room for another failed title. Oh well.

Anyone want some cheap books to give away to new moms?

My dear husband tried so hard this afternoon to “fix” everything. I finally asked him for just one day of being depressed and discouraged. Just one day. He said no. I got mad. Awhile later, he went on a photo walk. When he got back, he said, “How about this? I’ll give you two days to be sad.” Perfect.

See you in two days.

67 thoughts on “disheartening

  1. Pingback: Marla Taviano » that’s my final offer (probably)

  2. Keri

    Ok….so I just noticed that this post is old??? Why in the world did it pop up first when I went to your blog?? Is that strange or what? Hmmmmm………

    Well, anyways, I still meant everything I said.

  3. Keri

    Marla…..I think you’re amazing. I also find it interesting that I came to your blog tonight to catch up on my Radical entries because I told you I would. A study you initiated of a book that is rocking people’s worlds…..including yours. You’re right in saying that you don’t know what to do next, but I think that’s exactly where God wants us to be so we are completely empty and ready. It’s tough and it hurts our feelings, but it is the true definition of being “empty” of ourselves so He can use us.

    Be sad. Cry. Throw something. Whatever…..but then get ready for what’s next. Then go back and read the comments from people reading Radical and see how you’ve had an incredible influence already.

    Love you girl. I can NOT wait to see what happens next. I, for one, am going to take advantage of this to start praying you back to Cambodia….even if for somewhat selfish reasons.

    XOXO

  4. Pingback: Marla Taviano » books and such

  5. SwitchingGranny

    I have this feeling that you are going to give Gabe his two days back. You are over it.. and going to find the blessing in the midst of this and likely encourage every one of us through it.

  6. Anna

    Well Marla I’m really sorry to hear that your book is going out of print as 2 of your books have particularly impacted my life in recent years. I bought ‘Blushing’ in desperation just after I got married when I was really struggling to get used to my new life with my husband. I also specifically asked my local Christian bookshop here in Wellington, New Zealand to get ‘Expecting’ in for me when I first found out that I was pregnant. Again it made a huge difference to the way I saw my pregnancy in terms of dedicating each development milestone week by week to the Lord. So you’ve made a huge difference in my life during these huge transitional times and I’m all the way down here in New Zealand! Thank you! πŸ™‚

  7. Angela

    I was debating ordering a copy of “Is that All He Thinks About?”, and now I definitely will. Not ready for the baby books yet though. πŸ˜‰

  8. Kimberly

    I’m so sorry. That must sting and hurt. You totally get 2 days to be sad. BUT when you come back in 2 days are ready for the good news….God has something bigger. That speaking thing that’s taking off….I just bet it’s from Him πŸ™‚ And who knows what He has for each of tomorrow!

  9. Bethany

    Marla I’m so sorry about the news you received. But one thing I know for sure; once a writer always a writer! Your writing will never stop because that love and need deep within to get your thoughts out in the form of written word never goes away. Thank you for following God with the gift he has given you and know that He is pleased. He is more than pleased. He is proud! And you will continue to make Him proud in the speaking. Just keep youself connected to Him sister.

  10. Kelli

    I have been thinking all day about what to say. And I can’t put it into words. Amanda did a great job.

    But all I can tell you is that your book MINISTERED to me. It kept me SANE. It made me feel some what NORMAL. It helped me to get through the ROUGH days.

    And EVERY MOMMY, every single mom that will come across that book as it circulates between friends, second hand book stores, and other moms will laugh and thank Marla Taviano for every second of God devoted work.

  11. sister sheri

    Hi Marla… I have no idea how difficult that news must be to you. I can only imagine that writing a book and having it published in the first place is like having a baby. And now you’re right to go sit under the broom tree and do a little healthy whining… and I love the fact that you are so vulnerable here… because we are going to have a front seat watching God provide for you… and you using your giftings to tell us all about it.

    much love, one of your new 508 BFFs,
    sister sheri (aka siesta sheri)

  12. Nixie

    I love you and am sending some BIG hugs from Australia! You cry all you want over the next 2 days but know this: the brilliant book you wrote is not “another failed title” – you have no idea how many women that book has touched and helped through them reading it, you will probably never really know!!!

    You rock, you are a funny and fantastic honest writer.. Will pray for you!!!!

    LOVE YOU xoxo

  13. meghan @ spicy magnolia

    I’m so sorry about this discouraging news. I can strongly attest to your book being an encouragement to this new momma who has not one clue what she’s doing! The fact that it was the one book I picked up to read right away during Brennan’s first month of life, and that I couldn’t put it down, should say a lot. It ministered to me, made me laugh, made me cry (in a good way) to know that I’m not alone. The Lord has used your penned words, Marla, and His purpose WILL be fulfilled in you. 2 Thess. 1:11-12 You are precious!

    p.s. Chuy’s: Cheweez πŸ™‚

  14. Lindsee

    I love your honesty, Marla. I’m so sorry that this is happening! However, I doubt that that book was ever a failure. It has encouraged many moms along the way, I’m sure. Just keep being obedient to him, even with a couple of sad days. And please, keep at lease one copy of “Blushing” for this single girl for the future. Seriously! I’ll let you know when it’s my time to read it! πŸ˜‰

  15. Holly @ Crownlaiddown

    Oh my friend, I’m so sorry you are hurting. I think you are a beautiful woman of God with a beautiful heart. Your writing is exceptional. YOU ARE EXCEPTIONAL.

    Praying for you…and cheering you on, too, in the name of Jesus.

  16. Omom

    Ohh how you bring tears to my eyes. I know this hurts but I truly can see such amazing things for you. He alone gave you the desire to be a writer. He didn’t give it to you to take it away or not see it fulfilled…..The enemy attacks when a blessing is starting to take shape, so be prepared friend…..

  17. Chris Yoder

    There are many things I COULD say, and they would be true, but I’m not going to say any of them. I’m just going to say 2 things: I’m praying for you and I love you very much!:)

  18. Lee Detrick

    In a way, I know what you are going through. I always have been told I was a creative person and an artist; suddenly, all that changed. For many years my music, painting and drawing, poetry, and writing has been snatched away from me, and the things that I thought I couldn’t live without, I am living without. I wonder what the next days will bring forth…..and what I am worth…..or worthless…..

  19. Suzi

    I am reading this post in tears for you- Yes you are blessed!

    Your book touched many women’s hearts and was a part of his master plan for your life. There was a reason and purpose-nothing you did was wasted. Eternity will tell. Can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for you next!

    Love,
    Suzi

  20. Kaye

    Hugs from Texas. Please know I am praying for you and that I totally believe you ARE a writer:)
    I believe in you and we believe in HIM….AMEN sister!
    Blessings today and always,
    Kaye
    Matthew 21:22

  21. Kristen

    Praying for you dear friend. You ARE a wonderful writer, and God has uniquelly gifted you. I am not going to pretend to know your hurts either…but I am more than willing to walk them with you. Chrystal Lewis has an old song that talks about learning to not to just accept the plans that God has for us, but to LOVE them. That song keeps coming to mind today.
    I am eager to see how God will use this to refine you and to prepare you for the “next thing”. In the meantime, I am just goign to come along side of you, put my arm around you and allow you feel what you feel…love you friend.

  22. Jen your cousin

    I just gave “Blushing” to two soon-to-be-married friends of mine. I give a copy to every friend I having that gets married. Seriously, I’ve had half a shelf of them lined up on my bookcase for the past 3 years and just gave away the last one! πŸ™‚ Because it is a wonderful book and I want all my friends to read it! Also, I brag about you to my girlfriends and tell them how great your books are and how you have a whole “series” of books that they MUST read as the time in their life calls for it.

    I would love to buy some copies of “Changing” for the same purpose and for some CPCs I know.

  23. Sarah Montanye

    Marla- you are a brilliant writer and have had such an impact on so many people through your books. God has something big in mind for you – I guarantee it! Love you friend!

  24. AKat

    SO not a failure, Marla! Your book helped me as a first time mom. Publishers, smublishers. I know it still stings, and for that I am so, so sorry. HUGS from Oklahoma to Ohio!

    P.S. Keep writing!!!

  25. Teresa

    I have not read this book would love to….I own a gift basket business in Shreveport and would love to read a copy of each. Blushing Bride and Changing the World….
    They might fit into some of my baskets….Let me know how I could get a copy of each…..I love your blog.

    Teresa
    annah99@aol.com

  26. Kay

    Marla, I so get you. The writing ministry, by nature, is just so up and down. It is definitely not for the faint-hearted and that is just what I am so often. Be encouraged, friend. One little set back does not a ministry end!

    I’m still very much in the stage where I have more rejections than acceptances. I got an agent, but no publishers bit. I self-published, but that’s just not the same. So now I’m working on my second book and wondering “Why?” I wake up in the middle of most nights and berate myself with things like “Who do you think you are? What do you think you’re doing? No one wants to hear what you have to say!” Fortunately, while Satan seems to speak louder in the night, God gets my attention loud and clear most mornings and He sets me back on track.

    I’m doing just what you listed as one of your options: Putting one foot in front of the every day and walking in obedience even though I can’t see for the life of me where it’s leading.

    YOu just do the same, precious girl! I’m praying for you today!
    Kay

  27. Tess

    Marla,

    You’re works are creative, thoughtful, and have touched countless lives! I am a writer – though the technical, non-interesting, business-y kind – and your books and blog inspire me each day to find my creative roots again and hopefully produce a book that’s half as read-worthy as yours someday. You have an amazing talent, sister, keep going with whatever you may be lead to do!

  28. Elisabeth

    Marla, I can relate to you, although in a different way. I’ve been hosting a mom’s group for a year now, which I know God instructed me to do. Some months I had small attendance, like 1 or 2 moms, lots of no one, and those few shining moments when more than 2 moms came! This last month was going along well, excited to host moms at my home again, when the rejections came… we have other plans, can’t make it this time… Of course they weren’t personal, but it’s hard (as a woman) to not take it that way. My husband (rational and unemotional as he is) tries everything to help me see it from an unattached-emotionally standpoint. I should have just said it like you; “I need some time to process this (yes, including crying!) and then I’ll be alright!” That’s just the way we are, and that’s the way God created us. So I feel your hurt/rejection/confusion. And I pray for you that God will light your path, and you will see how you are to impact your world. Remember that God planned good works for YOU before he created the world, and I have a feeling you would have settled for far less than what His big plans are for you! So I encourage you to allow yourself to dream big, and to enlarge the box we unknowingly put God in, and that in these two days, your sorrow will be turned to joy, great joy! Joy because God is not done working in you, joy because He’s only just begun to open to you His awesome plans, joy because you are found in Him. Be encouraged!

  29. jess

    i Loved that book, too. It’s amazing. And it’s okay that the publishers don’t want to reprint it…there are still copies out in the world, still changing lives whether new ones are being made or not. I’m sure the financial part is a bit worrisome, but doesn’t God care about the sparrows?

  30. Cassandra Frear

    You matter dearly and deeply to the God who designed you and the universe in which you breathe and live and create.

    Who can fathom the ways of God?

    To make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where you start from. What’s next? The light appears on the horizon ahead of you already, and next is now.

  31. Tiffani

    Look at how well you are loved!! You’re sweet hubby even jumped in with all of us girlies!

    I agree with Amanda and will go on to say that God doesn’t measure like a publishing house either and you may not know on this side of Heaven how you’ve touched others through your writing.

    You’ve touched me in such a short time just on this blog…so, feel proud, my friend.

    Here I’ll sing for you:

    “He’s got Marla’s out of print books in His hands,
    He’s got Marla’s tears in His Hands..

    He’s Marla’s next step…In His Hands,
    He’s got the whole world in His Hands!!!!” πŸ˜‰ (It’s much better in person)

    Love you!

  32. Jen Griffin

    I agree with all the many thoughts people have shared. You are far from a failure. Many mommies have been blessed by your words. Your impact with words is far from over. I bet God will even use this time to bring a fresh perspective to you and your ministry.

    Hugs!

  33. Charity

    I’m so sorry. That book ministered to me all the way in Wales when I had my first child- so thank you for writing it!

    Praying for you!

  34. Christy

    Praying for you Marla. As you know, God has a plan. And He WILL reveal it.

    I loved the book! And how providential that you just cleared space in your closet. Hmmm . . .

    And speaking of that book, I should probably re-read it. πŸ™‚

  35. Gretchen

    Marla, I am so sorry. This is tough, tough, stuff. I’ll be praying for you today. For perspective and joy. You are loved and made perfect in His sight based on your precious faith. He has faith in you, dear friend. And for what it’s worth, so do I. xxxooo

  36. Jennifer

    It can’t be a “failed” book when it ministered to and continues to minister to so many mommies. I agree with those who’ve said that God measures success much differently than publishing houses. I’m so sorry that this has happened, and I pray that you’ll be refreshed and encouraged in the next few days.

  37. Missy

    I’m a writer, too (though not published – yet!) I know the sadness you must feel and that’s okay.

    I just wanted you to know that I read the book of which you speak immediately after my [unexpected] third child was born – it so helped my perspective and sanity. Your heart, and work, and effort certainly helped this mom and I think that is your ultimate goal – Definately NOT a failure or a “failed” book. Please, don’t accept that label.

    Gentle Hugs from,
    Missy

  38. Megan@SortaCrunchy

    Oh sweet friend. I can’t pretend to know your disappointment, but as someone who has read Diapers cover to cover and LOVED EVERY WORD, I just want to encourage you to never think of that book as a failure. In the mysterious ways God works, you will never know this side of heaven the impact of your words on new mamas all over the world, but please please know that the message of that book is one that has ministered to many.

    My heart is with you, friend. I know God will slowly be making straight a path for you. XOXO

  39. LesLee

    I haven’t read that book, but I’d love to. I’m up for some if you are boxing them up and shipping them out. Maybe I’ll get a baby from reading that book, God knows my husband sure is getting what he wants from me reading “the sex book” He’s loving it and I’m not complaining either! A few days ago I thought you were all fired up for a book on In Laws. You are awesome and your work is amazing. Enjoy your wallow, then come back stronger!

  40. Gabe Taviano

    You’re an author. And a great speaker. God has changed many women’s lives for the better through you. I’m just as proud of you today as I was when you got your first book deal.

    This isn’t the end of the road, you know that. How could it be, with one of your largest character traits being “ambition”. God uses that, and has let you do things you’ve thought were impossible. And there’s still some of those left on His list.

  41. Sara

    mmmm….this may not be the best comment…you might want to delete it…but when my bff and I have days like this we say one thing to the other that wraps it all up and then we move on….mainly because we know God knows and we don’t need to say THAT to each other, so we summarize a lot of what David says in the psalms…So here goes:

    Sometimes things just suck. I’m praying for you.

    There you go. I just think it helps to keep it real every once in a while and say it. So grieve and then remember that the NEXT big adventure is coming. Love and prayers to you Sister.

  42. Denise

    So sorry my dear friend. I loved this book – it got me through Parker’s NICU time. I read it over and over.

    i think you have every right to grieve, but don’t let the enemy keep you from pursuing your love. Seek God, He’s got that answers. In the meantime, know that I love you

  43. Kristi

    Well, just so you know: I LOVED that book. Maybe it’s not what you want to hear right now, but I read that book in a time when I REALLY needed it — about 7 months ago. I just saw it on my shelf yesterday in fact, and was thinking I’d read it again sometime! Thanks for being a blessing! Hugs from Iowa!

  44. Carrie

    So sorry to hear about your disheartening news. Don’t be discouraged though. You are an excellent writer. Your books are so enjoyable to read and are full of everything women crave to hear. Its wonderful to know that others are sharing in the same experiences in life and you have brought that to more people than you know. We don’t always understand the obstacles that pop up in our lives especially when we are doing the Lord’s work, but lean on Him and He’ll carry you through it. Praying for you!

  45. Jess Y.

    Crossroads are the hardest… and best. God always meets people at their crossroads. (Hagar, Isaiah, Daniel, Joseph, Abraham – at a few different crossroads – haha, David, Solomon, etc.)

    But it’s okay to be sad, too. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

  46. Valerie

    Take your two days to grieve/be angry/sad whatever you need…. feeling and expressing things are much healthier than bottling them up. Learning to trust in Him, wait for His timing, and being patient are some of the life lessons that almost everyone has to work on. Everything will work out in the end even if it wasn’t your original goal…He has you in mind for something very special.

    I’d like a book to put up for the time being…it’s the one of yours that I don’t own. And, if you’d like to escape and have lunch at Chipotle let me know…my treat!! I’ve been craving it the past two days….

    I will be praying for you…..

  47. Cindy

    Someone very wise once wrote, “I don’t keep exact records, but it seems to me that very little in my
    life has panned out exactly as I planned it out.” But you know what, it’s working out just like He planned. Honor the loss with a couple of days of mourning then see what He has for you! I, too, seem to be struggling with what comes next, so I am praying for you, Marla.

  48. Cheryl Pickett

    Agreed, in no way is a book a failure if it reached someone and yours have. I’ve only read Blushing, and it’s out of print too, but I loved it and will happily recommend it. Few books reach the pinnacle of NYT bestsellers or anything like that, most books also go out of print at some point. It doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth doing.

    As far as figuring out what to do next, I’m with ya, I can’t see my path clearly either. It’s hard to wait and trust, trying hard right along side you.

  49. Gail

    I love that book! It’s one of my favorites. And I know LOTS of other folks who have loved it, too. And out-of-print doesn’t mean that it was never put into print, that it never ministered to people, that it wasn’t a great encouragement, that it “failed.” No, dear. It just means this season is over. You’re the best, and you probably don’t want my encouragement right now, but I can’t stop it. I love you. I love your Jesus. And He has a perfect plan for all of this.

  50. Denise

    I”m sorry……grieve for the 2 days….then seek Him to show you what you need to learn as you wait on Him to show you the next step….there is always a next step…..cling to Hope! Jer. 29:11 He knows the plans He has for Marla!

  51. Ashley

    What discouraging news. I’m sorry that you had to get such unhappy news. However, is there a way to view this as a challenge, rather than an immobile wall? I know one of my favorite quotes in this area of life came from Randy Pausch, that amazing college professor who wrote the Last Lecture:
    “Brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want something badly enough. They are there to keep out the other people”

    I know that after prayer and much self-reflection, your heart will be guided toward the next step you’re going to take. The ability to endure these sour defeats make our successes that more more meaningful. And we can learn from these defeats. If you’ve never watched the last lecture (or read the book), I highly recommend it. Randy spoke of how badly he wanted to work as an imagineer for Disney and laughed as he discussed how many times he received well-written rejection letters.

    I’m not trying to downplay your disappointment and hurt, as you are allowed to mourn this discouragement. But I hope the dark cloud overshadowing this experience clears soon to allow a fresh breath of sunlight to light your path.

    I’ll be praying for you Marla!

  52. Amanda

    Oh friend, I’m sorry to hear that. There is nothing about that book that was a failure. Don’t let the enemy pin that ugly brooch on you. No ma’am! I know it ministered to me and I’m sure every woman who read it would say the same. God does not measure victory the same way a publishing house does.

  53. Carissa@ExcitingTimes

    Marla, I’m so sorry. It’s sweet of Gabe to give you two days Marla, I am so sorry. It’s sweet of Gabe to give you two days to wallow. Take every minute of it. By the time your two days are up, you’ll be sick of sadness. You’ll hug your darling family, blog something funny (or helpful or precious), and you’ll face what God has in store for you. And, whatever it is, it will be great! With love from Texas – Carissa

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