Wednesday, June 16, 2010

God ALWAYS Knows Best

I got my scores back from the ACFW Genesis a couple weeks ago and well... let's just say they ain't pretty. I can't quote the judges, but the gist of it is: my dialogue left a lot to desired, my beginning didn't hook the judge, I was going to end up with a 200,000 word saga (and just to be clear I got it done in under a 100k ; ) and when you boil all those comments down it comes out sounding like this: YOU HAVE NO TALENT.

Hmmmm. Okay that is what I got off of a computer screen, and I had to keep reminding myself that most often the words you read on the screen, come across sounding harsher than what is often intended. So while I had pretty lousy scores, I also had some pretty good comments, even one total in the 70's-- not bad. But that 50 was pretty hard to swallow.

Then I got my Frasier contest results back (This was the second contest I entered sponsored by Susan May Warren) and I was pretty fearful opening that email up. I knew that the results of the Genesis didn't dictate my story life, but what if these second round of judges said the exact same thing? That would be like the nails in the coffin and my writing was going to be doomed!

I took a deep breath and opened them... what helpful comments! They actually helped me to grow and were very encouraging. Even though my numbers weren't high enough to qualify, both judges said my work showed promise, but felt a bit forced. Yep, I agree with that one 100%. But let's just dwell on PROMISE here for a minutes. : )

And that is when this lesson really kicked in: God ALWAYS knows best.

In April I went to a conference (more like a writer's workshop, but I really want to go to a conference so just humor me) with Susan May Warren and Chip McGregor. And both of them, after listening to my writing woes, encouraged me to put that book aside and start something else.

God knew what was coming in those results and was preparing me before I even knew it. It overwhelms me to think of that.

If I had gotten those results while I was still working on that story, it would have been devastating. Really devastating. At that point I would have thrown up my hands in defeat and said, "What's the point??"

But God knew, and He directed me to start another novel through the voices of Susie and Chip.

Now the words flow, I am writing this on Thursday of last week in preparation to schedule it and by the time you read this today, I will have completed a 90,000 word novel. God has given me the inspiration and the words to the tune of writing 7,000 in ONE day. For me personally, that is HUGE! I have NEVER done that before and I feel great about what I wrote.

It may never see publication, no one, but my family may ever read it, but it is what God wanted me to do. He knew when I submitted those contest entries they would not come back looking pretty. He knew that I needed to get far away from it to be able to see clearly and it wouldn't affect my writing.

God in His PERFECT timing, ALWAYS knows best. And I praise Him from the bottom of my heart for keeping His eye on this little sparrow.


  1. HMMMMM Casey,
    As a reader and writer of short stories and in my journal,don't listen to the ACFW Genesis and listen to the Frasier instead. YOU DO HAVE TALENT and I see the results every day on the blogs that you participate. GOD DOES ALWAYS KNOW BEST. You started another novel. You feel great about what you're writing, and I am one of your biggest fans.
    As you said God in His PERFECT timing, ALWAYS knows best. And I am keeping my eye on this little sparrow.
    You give me inspiration and your writing is soothing, funny, rewarding and awesome. You are always helping others and YOU MAKE MY DAY. Keep keeping on.
    Sure, on the path to your dreams you encounter some delays. There's bound to be a disappointment or two along the way-but there will also be countless happy surprises! There will be challenges-but you will meet each and every one. Because there's just no stopping you. Keep Writing!

  2. Praise God, Casey! I can't wait to watch what the Spirit is going to do through your writing, published or not.

    Isn't that so neat how God does prepare us, even for the hard news?

    What genre is your novel?

    Have a great day!

  3. Great post. I've also gotten some tough criticism on my latest project. Sometimes, it's hard to hear, but I know in the long run it's worth it. It will only help me grow.

  4. Casey, you are such an encouragement to me! Thank you for sharing this. I know that even when you know God knows what's best and even when you know that you can learn from helpful comments, it's still hard. Your attitude is exemplary, and I'm so proud of you!

    And yes, God is working through you right now in ways none of us can imagine! He'll bring you to the place He wants you to be in His own time. :)

    God bless you, Casey, and keep up the great work!


  5. Rbooth, you don't know what that comment means to me. It really touches my heart and I am so honored and thrilled that this blog brings you joy, because it does for me as well. Thank you, thank you, you have blessed me today in countless ways!

    Oh thank you, Julie, I do see God working in my writing and I am so thankful to have the chance to share it will all of you. My novel is contemporay women's fiction. I hope to share bits of it someday. :)

  6. Julia, that is SO right! I know I can learn from the Genesis scores, it will just take a willingness to accept them later and pick out what I can learn. I couldn't believe how helpful the Fraiser judges were. They put a bit of honey with the vinegar and it made ALL the difference.

    Oh Amber, thank you. Your faith journey is inspiring to me as well! I love knowing there isn't anything to fear in God's plan for my life, I just have to trust Him, which I still try to every day! Thank you for your kinds words, it has made my day! :)

  7. We're always learning something, aren't we? I am pretty sure that the older I get, the less I find out that I know:) I am glad to hear your news - that you are that great work in progress that can only get better over time. I'm with you, moving forward!

  8. I'm proud of you! You are such an encouragement with your faith and a great example! :)

  9. @Karen, it is hard sometimes to learn something new, but I am so pleased with the progress I seem to have made between my first and second book. True it still a LOT of work, but I am actually excited for these edits! A first! :)

    @Blue rose, thank you, that means a lot. I appreciate you stopping by! :)

  10. I loved your attitude in this post, Casey! You are so right, that on the screen things sound harsher than they were meant. It was wise of you to turn your attention to something else, when you were counseled to do so. And look how you're writing!
    Praise the Lord!
    Keep Writing for Christ!
    Faith's Firm Foundation

  11. Thank you Wendy, it wasn't easy to read at first and I still haven't opened them back up, but I do know that sometimes when you are in a rush, things come out harsher than intended. I just focus on that and God's perfect timing. :)

    Thanks for taking the time to read it! Hope you have a great day. :)

  12. Casey, don't let those comments and critiques get you down. God has a plan thats better then what you or I could ever think up. And I know for a fact, that your a talented writer (exhibit A: this blog!) and who knows, maybe this new book of your's will be #1 on the New York Bestseller's list. And believe me, when I say that I can't wait to see where God is going to take you and your writing.
    Love ya always,

  13. Ahh, thanks Ash! Though I don't know about the #1 Times list, (though it would sure be fun!), I am just taking it one day at a time and learning all that I can. You are right, God has a much better plan in mind than anything I could ever dream up. :)

  14. I write poetry. Sometimes someone will ask me to write one like last week was my 50th class reunion and I had to write one where they were showing the ones we have lost in our class. (18) class of 85. Well needless to say, NOTHING. I realized I had not prayed at all about it and when I stopped and prayed God gave me the desires of my heart. I was unable to go but I contributed or rather God did. I have never wrote anything that God did not give me. When I forced it, it turned out terrible. The Holy Spirit let me know one day that the gift he had given me was not for me it was to glorify Him. He did not give you a gift that He does equip you for. Don't give up or get discouraged for the words will come. Our advice doesn't mean a hill of beans but the advice from God is all you need. Thanks for sharing and I will be remembering you in my prayers.

  15. Thank you Granny. :) I appreciate that comment and your prayers more than you will know. Being inside God's perfect timing is right where I always want to be. May your poetry bring you much joy! Thanks again for the lovely comment.


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