Okay, that’s a bit melodramatic even for me.
But it’s one of the things writers crave for. We’re happy when we’re able to get our crazy thoughts onto the page. It’s cool when someone likes our idea or thinks our stories are awesome. But it’s a bit different when someone in the industry says they like your work. Whether it’s an award, a request for more of your story, or publication, it’s a special feeling to be recognized by those who are gatekeepers or champions of the writing industry.
I still remember the night I won novel of the year at the 2012 Florida Christian Writer’s Conference. My appointments had gone less than stellar. The manuscript feedback from authors/agents came back good, but not good enough. I went into awards night with a yucky attitude. I remember sitting in the back row next to my new critique partner, Kristen Stieffel, as the awards started. I wasn’t expecting anything, but the Lord was dealing with me.
They announced the next award. Novel of the Year. I remember a very specific phrase I “thought” to the Lord.
“God, it would be really cool to win for once.”
I’d been a runner up in three contests, and a semi-finalist in Genesis the previous year. They liked my stuff a little, but not quite a enough. When that reminder popped in my head, my immediate follow-up thought wasn’t exactly positive.
“That will never happen. Ever.”
Then they called my name.
I was so startled I looked at Kristen in disbelief. I don’t remember walking up to the podium, but I do have the certificate to prove it happened.
They really liked me this time.
Maybe I’m unique as a writer. But that meant so much to me. I know we write for an audience of One in the sense that my ultimate goal is to please God. However, I think we’d be ignoring the human element of us that longs to do well at the things we’re doing to please God. I want to be the very best writer I can be. And while the encouraging words of friends or family is great, there is something really special about a professional giving you a nod of approval.
Last Thursday I received a contract offer for Soul Yearning. I promise not to go into a Sally Field fit, however, I’m pretty excited.
Somebody really liked it 🙂
Now comes the hard work of turning it into something that a lot of somebody’s like.