Such Is the life of a writer.
Back in March I entered my very first writing contest with ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). Though I had already been informed that I hadn’t won, I received my test scores/results the other day. I have to say it didn’t surprise me that I hadn’t won, though one can always dream, and that I do.
I was not disappointed in my test scores and comments by the three judges. I had no disillusion that I still have a long way to go as a writer. Though it seems that I’ve been at it a long time, I really haven’t been able to put as much time into as I’d like. After all I do have four kids, a husband, pets, a house to run, work part-time, my ministry, foster Collie’s, and several pen pals to keep up with. But I still plug away because I feel it is what God has called me to do, not to mention my love for putting pen to paper, or in my case, fingers to keyboard.
I was both a little saddened and encouraged by their comments. I was given some harsh reality of what Id’ already known to be my weaknesses. But I was also thrilled by the encouraging words of what I did do right.
I was given several book suggestions to read in order to improve my writing and even the suggestion to take a grammar class…yes; I’ll admit that’s one of my greatest weaknesses. I’ve already ordered the books and plan on checking into my community college about a grammar 101, class. Back to the basics for me!
My lack of skills in grammar, punctuation, and spelling is why I hadn’t pursued writing for many years. Fortunately, I happened to read a book that gave me hope. I believe it was, On Writing, by Stephen King. It touched on how that’s only one aspect of writing, and hey, isn’t that what professional editors are for. Still, when submitting your work to a publisher, grammar errors will send your manuscript right to the rejection pile without so much as a second thought. In the submitting world, everything counts.
Do I regret entering the contest? No way! I’m only that more enthusiastic about honing my skills for next year’s submission. It was well worth the $35.00.
Thank you judges for your honesty, commitment and time.