Thursday, December 2, 2010

Follow Up

I have to sub all day today, so you won't see me around much. I am thankful for the chance to work, so I won't complain!

For those of you who read my post from yesterday, you know my day started off far from perfect. Getting a score of 18 out of a possible 60 on my writing excerpt is at the very least hard to swallow and at the worse maddening. (Though I don't think I reached the worst level yesterday :-)

You know when you start out writing, you ask for a lot of subjectivity. You ask for this kind of treatment in a way- let me explain. When you pour yourself out on the page, you have to realize that there are going to be those that are not going to like it. Think of actors on the screen. I like one actor, you can't stand him! In so many ways it is the same with fiction. You only have to visit Amazon to confirm this fact.

And being new to the craft and the writing field you ask for MORE, yes MORE, because judges, crit partners, mentors are going to demand MORE. Have you seen the number of people who want to write and think they have the next Great American Novel? How does mine stand out from them? WHY in the world would my story be so much more special to make an overworked, underpaid editor/judge/agent want to look and spend TIME reading my story?

You ASK for such treatment because in a way you are demanding that they spend time with your work. And with something that takes up a great deal of time like reading, you ask for even more subjectivity.

I promised I would make this short and I am failing-miserably.

So conclusion: my question that still lingers from yesterday, and maybe some of your writers farther along the journey can offer advice or if I may pray on the 2 authors that follow my blog (:o), when do you accept or reject? ESPECIALLY if you don't have a 3 person opinion? And what if (ready for it??): I say no to something I should have said yes to, but didn't have a tough enough hide to say yes to? See why my mind is a mess?? Good thing I am spending the day with 3 year olds. Maybe they'll provide some insight.

Before I skedaddle, I want to thank you. All of you who read the post and sent me emails, left comments, I didn't intend to have a pity party, but you all remind me why I love to write. And for someone who has written thousands of words, I am at a loss now to express my humble and deep gratitude. You all are treasured and I do not use those words flippantly.

I am overwhelmed. Have a wonderful, Christ filled Thursday! And thank you.


  1. Hi, Casey! I stopped over from Sherrinda's blog. I read this post and your post from yesterday. I truly understand how hard it is to get three VERY different sets of scores and comments from judges. I think we all struggle to pick and choose what we listen to and what we try to forget was ever said. The trick is realizing that you ARE are allowed to discount and throw away those comments from a judge who quite simply didn't get your writing, but you also must learn to take the hard-to-swallow, but helpful comments and learn from them. It's just so hard to figure out which is which sometimes. My biggest challenge sometimes is that I often don't even see the positive comments because I'm so stuck on the negative. A couple of days later, my husband will read them and be like, "But she said she liked this and this. You're being way too hard on yourself."

    It's nice to meet you! Have a great Thursday!

  2. Casey, I so relate and empathize with you here. Writing is a VERY subjective experience and no two people will respond to a book the same way. You know this as you've stated it here but it doesn't erase the excruciating highs and lows of the writing life. When I write, I write from my heart so any negative reviews/contest results are the equivalant of being stabbed with a sharp pen:( But you MUST STILL write from your heart.

    When I was submitting TFD, a major pub rejected me in a hurtful way via email. I won't share the comments here as they're still painful:) And then the pub board at Baker/Revell LOVED the book and snatched it up! Imagine my surprise when they said all these glowing things in the face of such overwhelming rejection right before.

    Since then I've had my share of reviews. Some are negative and I try to learn from them. If the negative reviewers are saying the same thing, I try to see if the criticisms are valid or if they're simply being mean-spirited (sadly, this does happen). I think the Lord teaches us humility through this very painful process. Francine Rivers has said that she doesn't read reviews as the good ones tend to inflate the ego and the negative ones make us miserable doubters, etc.

    Above all, consecrate your writing life to Him. Pray for moment by moment guidance. You are ultimately writing for an audience of ONE. When you are hurt, give it right to Him. That's what I'm learning to do daily. It's a lifelong process. Praying for you ~ you have such a wonderful spirit, my dear writing/reading friend!

  3. Yes, I do know how to spell equivalent:)!

  4. Oh gosh Casey I'm sorry to hear about your story. I'm not a writer but I do know how it feels to not do well on something that you worked VERY hard on (I was a history major so I wrote A LOT of big papers) and feel like it was the best you ever did only to have someone butcher it. It's tough. But Laura is right, you do have such a wonderful spirit about it and while most would rant and rave disliking the judges you seem to have handled it all so well but that doesn't surprise me since you always have such a wonderful attitude about life. :-)

    Here's to today and all the wonderful things you will accomplish.

    XOXO~ Renee

  5. Hello Heather, it is wonderful to meet you as well! Thank you for that kind comment. I agree, so many times we view something as negative, when it really isn't as bad as we thought. I know that the one score I got was very helpful and encouraging, but we can't live on pure encouragement now can we? :) The second one was more middle of the road with helpful and negative comments and the third just didn't have ANYTHING good to say. But I apprecaite your support and suggestions, it means a great deal more than you know!

    @Laura,Laura, Laura, you mean so much to me, you know that?? You have such a sincere heart and a giving spirit, it is without end! I don't know why anyone would want to deny TFD, but it does prove the subjectivity of people. Thank you SO MUCH for taking so much time to leave that lovely comment. It was a huge encouragement and boost to a flagging spirit. I didn't work on my writing today, but I know yesterday as I worked (on a different chapter) I kept thinking of the purpose of each word and not being able to SEE some of the changes is hard, but I know with each of these things happening to me, it will grow me as a writer... I hope. ;) THANK YOU!!

    @Renee, I hope someday that you are one of the first readers of my first book. :)You have been a HUGE support to me, you know that?? I can't thank you enough for the kind words. :)

  6. 3-year-olds have great wisdom. To true. You probably had hugs from little ones who simply knew you needed it, smiles and pictures drawn from their innocent hearts. Wowsers, I bet you can run a video in your head right now showing how God used those critters to physically bless you.
    mmmmmmmmm God is so good he sent you to the little ones for comfort.

  7. It was refreshing Mary to just spend a day not thinking about anything but teaching them the little things they love to do in school. :)


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