Today I'm going to be going over lesson 3 of the fabulous things I've learned this June. Would you like to know what it is? HMMMMM? *blinks owl eyes*
Well. Over the three days of the writing conference, all the authors expressed such belief in us. They really, truly had faith that we would grow to be amazing authors. And it was so inspiring.
In the month or so leading up to the workshop, we had to prepare the first three pages of our WIPs to become the best they could possibly be. I spent days editing, tweaking, reading, reading again, and applying critiques from my cousin (while critiquing hers in turn).
When the day before our departure arrived, I was sick and tired of those first three pages. My cousin and I had nicknamed them #FEET (we make nicknames and hashtags of everything), and at that point to me, they smelled like it. How could I print out these stinky three pages? I couldn't. They couldn't see the light of day. NEVER.
But I was out of time.
So I printed out two copies: one for me, and one for the staff member that would be critiquing it for me. Everyone who entered a one on one critique was to leave their second copy of their WIP with their critiquer. The pages would then be considered among the others to go on for a THREE CHAPTER critique from editors from either HarperCollins or Penguin/Random House.
Such an amazing opportunity, right? So exciting!
But not for me. Because in my mind, my writing sucked. It sucked a lot. It was so terrible, in fact, that I knew there was no chance in the whole world that my little manuscript could be chosen. Who cares about the hours upon hours of time I poured into it, the passion I felt (and still feel) for this story? It was terrible. I just wasn't good enough yet.
But apparently, I was wrong.
My manuscript was chosen. The Thief's Conspiracy. My child. It was chosen to go to editors from one of my dream publishers. She called my name up first, and I sat in my seat in stunned silence, sure she hadn't really meant to call my name. Sure she'd made some big mistake. I sat there, staring calmly, waiting for her to say, "Oh sorry. I meant Hannah Smith." Or correct herself to some other writer who was better than me.
But she didn't. She waited until my arms moved and my feet tensed and I rose from my chair and walked up onto the stage to stand before the group of writers that I'd spent the last three days with.
I'd been chosen.
I couldn't fathom it. She called one name, and then another: my cousin. My cousin ran up to me and we hugged and that was when it really started to sink in.
This was happening. But ... how? How? How could this be happening to me? Nothing made sense. The lights were so bright up there, and everything was a haze of gold and gray. A smile grew onto my face, so big it hurt. I didn't understand how this could be. But it was. It had happened.
Which leads to the next lesson I learned this June.
Give yourself some credit. You are better than you think you are.
As a writer, I've always been full of doubt and confliction. Dangerous thoughts and questions swirl on my mind daily. Is this what God has planned for me to do with my life? But I'm really not that good. How can I write what He wants me to? How can I ever succeed in this career that holds my heart?
This is my explanation for why I was gone all of June, and why my posts were so short in July. I've been slaving away ever since the workshop, whipping my first three chapters into shape. I sent them off on the twentieth. Ten days ago.
The future is a big, scary place. Anything could happen. I don't know who The Thief's Conspiracy will go to. There are two editors. I don't know which one my baby will fall in the hands of. But I know God has a plan.
You are your own harshest critic. You think your writing is terrible? I can promise you, your writing is not as bad as you think it is. It never has been. You look at it and see the potential for what it could become, but it's never been terrible.
Believe in yourself. Believe in God. He's got a plan, and it's bigger than you give Him credit for.
Go write, guys! Write from your heart. Let the words pour from your soul and onto the page. Smile! You are beautiful. God has a plan for you. And it is greater than you can possibly think, feel, or imagine.
Do you have trouble giving yourself a break? Have you ever had an experience like this? Please share your stories! And if you have any thoughts on my blog changes, I'd really appreciate them!