Bruised Ego, Not So Broken Bike

The voting for the Marcher Lord Select contest is now closed, and the results are in.

Out of 49 entries, mine ended up somewhere in the bottom 29. That means my manuscript will not be moving on to the next phase.

When I saw the final list sans mine, I admit to a few tears.

I shut down my computer, preferring to mope instead of wishing the winners Godspeed in the next round. I was not inclined to be gracious in losing. Yep, I wanted to be a poor sport, and sing to all within ear (eye) shot my “woe is me.”

And I did. For about thirty minutes as I watched my little boy — up and eager to play since 4am.

All the icky thoughts of how worthless my writing and stories are poked and prodded. Shouldn’t I just give up the entire writing thing — or at least publishing thing — and concentrate on more important things such as raising my child and making sure I work hard enough to keep food on the table? Perhaps I should write for my own pleasure and sanity, and forget about sharing my measly offerings to the world.

Nothing like a child with little care to put things in perspective. Here he played and giggled, thrilled with the single fact I allowed him out of his crib to run around the living room.

Really, what does it matter my story didn’t make the next round? It’s still possible MLP will pick up my book for publication; it just won’t be as soon as I’d like.

No longer desiring to wallow, but needing a spiritual “There, there,” I picked up my Bible and read the following passage:

“And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him.” ~ 1 John 5:14

No matter how hard I fight it at times (more often than I should), writing is my heart’s desire. But more than that, I want to share it; not to glorify me, but to glorify God.

It’s at times like these — when I appear to fail — that God reminds me it’s not about me, but about him and his will.

So I have to ask, am I following God’s will by presenting my work to publishers?

The answer invariably comes back as yes.

How do I know?

In this case, because God, through his Word, pushed the self-pity away and encouraged me to get back on those boards and express my congratulations. By the time I wrote the last word, I was sincere about it. I also started my own thread to ask everyone what worked and what didn’t.

Within minutes someone responded with why she liked it and how she was saddened it wouldn’t be going forward.

My little 100-word blurb effected at least one person.

Proof enough to me I shouldn’t give up. With time, work and continued patience, my book will end up on someone’s shelf.

God willing.

8 thoughts on “Bruised Ego, Not So Broken Bike

  1. I know how you feel. I have many, many days like that when I think my time would be much better spent on something more sure to be useful/productive/paying/etc. But there’s still something inside (currently a very, very small voice) that says this is what I should be doing even if it doesn’t look like it right now.

    As Churchill said, “Never, never, never give up!”

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  2. Very well said, and my sentiments exactly when I didn’t see mine on the list. For me, the disappointment took a couple days to settle in, but it passed, and now I’m enjoying reading the work of those who passed through.

    I asked for feedback, too, and received what I felt was a somewhat harsh, over the top response. It made me mad and got me down at first, but later I was able to look past the (I will call) questionable tone of the criticism and see parallels with two other critiques I have received. So, I’ve decided to embark on a major re-org of the first half of my novel. As of now, I plan for everything to stay, just to happen in a different and hopefully more effective, entertaining order. Moral of the story…God always has his reasons… Patience is a good thing. Even though, ughhhh, it’s so hard to wait (and to keep working when rewards are so few and far between).

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  3. Hi Jessica,

    I just read the response you mentioned. I agree it was over the top. Good for you for getting past the tone and see if the criticisms made sense. I have to say your response was quite gracious. The last one by theordinary, made me want to cheer.

    Sometimes I wish God would let me in on the reasons he holds me back. Well, he does, but not when I want to know those reasons.

    In the end — and likely when we least expect it — we’ll receive that reward. I’ll wager it’ll exceed anything we’ve imagined, and we’ll appreciate all the frustration it took to get us there.

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  4. My Friend:
    Someone once said “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans!” He allows us to be His light in a myriad of ways, most often other than those we think matter. I know your faith because I have seen it in your words, and your work. I think that we must learn to be adequate pots. Sometimes, we complain because of our designed cracks. But, the Potter created us for His purposes. Listen to the Potter. Always.

    In His Care,

    Budroe

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