“If you pray for something, you must be willing to take what God, in His infinite love and knowledge, gives to you as an answer.” ~ Pastor Jim Jarrett
As a fiction writer, I have voices in my head. It’s perfectly normal. A ride to San Francisco on the BART sends my fingers flying with tidbits of scenes. An errant observation by a toddler to his mother and I have my phone out to capture the words.
My writing style is different than a majority of the traditionally published Christian fiction writers. For those not involved in writing, a traditionally published author usually has an agent and their book is produced by a publisher. There is also the monumental move for writers into indie or self-publishing. I’d love to be picked by an agent or editor, who, upon reading or hearing my idea, would push a contract in my direction and send a limo to take me to the airport.
However, I have a ways to go.
Case in point: I entered a short story contest earlier this year in the Young Adult (YA) category. The story came from my heart, equal parts of complete fiction and bits of my life. Life got busy (doesn’t it always?) and I had actually forgotten about entering the contest until a random email popped up notifying me I was a semi-finalist. WHAT?!
So I did what anyone in my situation would do:
I scoured the feedback the judges provided. I edited for my use of the word “that,” which I have a tendency to throw in. Two writers gave me critiques before I resubmitted for the final round. Admittedly, I was excited when I hit the “Send” button. Based on the semi-finalist judges’ comments, I had a good chance of winning!
And a couple of days ago, I got the email I’ve been waiting for!!!
“I hate to be the bearer of sad news, but your story was not selected as a finalist…”
Even the most seasoned writer will say rejection stings every single time and I agree. I received one sentence in regards to the judge’s perception of both my weakness and strong point. While the negative feedback given was ambivalent and bruised my writer’s heart, I am choosing to take the positive feedback and keep moving forward. It’s not the first time I’ve been rejected and certainly won’t be the last. God gave me stories, so I’ll continue to write them down – I’ll be faithful to the path God has put in front of me.
And the voices in my head!