The Art of Waiting By Alice J. Wisler

Ever since the death of my four-year-old Daniel in 1997, I wanted to write a book about grief and loss. As I grappled with my new bereaved life, daily yearning for my child, I submitted query letters to potential publishers. While some were interested, a few wrote back that they thought it was too soon to write a book of this nature. Too soon? ‘What did they know?’ I thought as I crafted another letter, hoping a different slant might work to get me a contract this time.

In 2001, I found an agent who said she liked my proposal for a book on writing through heartache. Yet, for some unknown reason, only four months into the contract, the agent cancelled. Would my book ever line a bookstore’s shelf?

As I grieved, I read testimonies of parental loss, attended bereavement conferences, poured my heart onto paper, wrestled with my faith, taught workshops on writing through adversity, and did a lot of what is known as “grief work”. Basically, I grew on this rocky journey. From my growth, the strength of my platform for a book on grief developed. And then, it happened.

Just this year, my new agent sold my book, How to Wake Up in the Morning: Reflections of Comfort in Heartache, to a Christian publisher. The book is slated to come out next spring. Interestingly, many of the devotions in it deal with waiting on God and being sustained through him along the agonizing path of heartache…lessons I have learned over the years.

Could my book have come out any sooner? No, I wasn’t ready. First I had to learn the art of waiting and blossoming into my platform. It’s true; sometimes waiting produces a stronger story.

Alice J. Wisler is the author of five novels. The newest, Still Life in Shadows, an ex-Amish tale, comes out this August from River North. Alice travels the country speaking on the value of writing through grief and loss. Her devotional, How to Wake Up in the Morning: Reflections of Comfort in Heartache (Leafwood Publishers) will be released spring 2013. Learn more about her online writing workshops and Writing the Heartache blog at


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