Saturday, October 4, 2014

A Winner for Entering?

"Assuming the best" has been a topic of mine lately. I thought the last one I posted would be the last, but then I assumed the worst about someone who's closer to me than anyone else, and I learned something worth sharing.

Who'd I assume the worst about? Myself.

Honestly, I do that more to myself than to anyone else in the world. More than I would ever think it about my family, my friends, my church family, coworkers, fellow writers... What a way to treat myself.

Last night, I received some writing contest results that kindly assured me that I was a winner for entering, but I was not a finalist. The winner for entering part? You betcha, I skimmed right over that. I got the email right as I was headed to bed, so I didn't open the judges' comments. Instead, I fell asleep stewing about how I'm not as good of a writer as I thought and maybe I need to scrap this manuscript and what was I thinking getting into this whole writing thing, anyway?

I have plans this morning, and I decided that I would risk reading the feedback before I went. I sat down and looked at the score sheets and the comments. Guess what? I'd assumed they hated the story and didn't get it and that they'd laugh if they knew I'd quit my job to pursue this writing thing.

Not the case at all.

The judges were very encouraging, in fact! They praised things. Things I wrote! Yes, there were also comments that pointed out areas to work on, but I can handle that. I'm a professional (except when I let myself spiral into self-doubt...), and I want my story to be good. And, no offense to anyone, but these are just two (differing) opinions in a subjective field. (I say that, but of course, I'm going to comb through my manuscript looking at the areas that were pointed out to see if I can make them stronger. Good feedback is hard to find, and this deserves a serious look.)

I was wrong to assume it was time to give up on my writing dream over something so silly as not being a finalist. I really appreciate the contest, the judges, and the feedback. God is good, he's making me better, and he loves me in the meantime. Now, I just have to learn to look at myself a little more like he does.

Was there a time when you were proven wrong after you'd assumed the worst about yourself?

Your Sister

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