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.
4 hours ago