I am being very transparent about my aching heart and the “art of writing” today.
The fact that I am writing about being “rejected as a writer” is kind of ironic. It is like reverse psychology. I am choosing to do the very thing the enemy wants to snuff out in me. One of the differences between the enemy’s condemnation and the Holy Spirit’s conviction is that condemnation leads to paralysis and shame and conviction leads to action and joy.
My litmus test for which voice I am listening to is often the behavior I am inclined to embrace. Because I was headed down the:
“you are a bad writer so you better stop path,”
I decided to fight back by seeking TRUTH and by writing.
The Bible says there is nothing new under the sun.
I believe God’s Word.
Therefore, if nothing is new, then at least one other person has felt the same sting of rejection from feedback that cut like a knife and wrestled with thoughts of completely giving up on what they believed they were created to do.
Have you ever felt like that person trying out for American Idol, the one who was told by “their people” that they could “rock the house with their vocals.” They then show up to publicly humiliate themselves, all the while thinking they may have really had a shot?
That is what I felt like when I read my “feedback” email early this morning.
The enemy is relentless. Before the sun came up today, he was on the prowl, seeking to kill, steal and destroy. My vulnerable heart nearly fell hook, line, and sinker.
I recently signed up for a writing community that gives feedback.
Writing rejection is not new to me. In the past, it has made me want to grow and get better; however, rejection without feedback is difficult, because you don’t know what to fix.
I went in search of a “safe place” to write, receive input and improve. I found a place; I am sure their intentions were pure, but the “feedback” almost took me out.
I was about 2 clicks away from shutting down this blog forever,
2 CLICKS THAT CLEARLY DIDN’T HAPPEN:)
If you write, get ready to sweat, cringe and maybe cry a little.
I am going to share with you some of the highlights of the “glowing” feedback I received. The FEEDBACK is in italics, my heart-wrenching translation of that FEEDBACK is labeled (LIE:) and a “picture of TRUTH” covers each lie!
***We have an enemy of our soul that is unable to create. He is crafty but not creative; therefore, he will stop at nothing to kill our potential. Writing out the lies of the enemy helped me to process the absurdity of his demeaning whispers. For every lie he speaks, Christ covers us in TRUTH!
…related very quickly and superficially
(LIE: Why are you writing? You have nothing worthwhile to share; so, you better get it out quickly before you lose them altogether. And even if they half-way get it, it won’t matter. It is shallow and far from meaningful.)
…This doesn’t work… the absence of any genuinely original content…
(Lie: STOP WRITING FOR THE LOVE OF PETE! Your writing doesn’t work-I told you so! You have nothing original to say and at best you are a just a random conglomeration of other peoples awesome ideas.)
… not enough care is taken… No reason to want to keep reading…
(Lie: You always have pushed “publish” way to soon and that just shows your lack of care. There really is no reason to keep reading anything you write. Why would anyone want to?)
… I fail to see the story in this
(Lie: You talk about loving “story” all the time but you failed to be able to even crank out one measly little 500 word piece. Take the hint. Give up!)
…There isn’t really a plot…There’s far too much distance here…nothing actually happens…surface details
(Lie: How many times to I have to tell you this: real writers bleed plots and you can’t even squeeze out one. You have no depth and fail to relate action, because your life is pretty much useless anyway, you don’t have much value to pull from; therefore, all you have is surface and no one wants to read that.)
…is completely flat and devoid of character…the world depicted is very flat.
(Lie: You dream of being a hope-offerer, joy over-flower, and city on a hill but you are not! You are completely flat, devoid of character. Your critic picked perfect words for you.)
…The writing itself is a little bland, but I think the style and tone exacerbate this. The informative nature of the piece suppresses any real opportunity to demonstrate any artistry or flair. …it requires a high level of creative imagination to bring something new to the tale and I miss this in this story.
(Lie: Bland bland bland! It goes perfect with flat! Your writing, style, and tone are a reflection of the nothing that you are. You are not an artist and your flair is an ember at best. No need to be put on a lamp stand. Go ahead and think you have a creative imagination but you don’t. The proof is in the articulate FEEDBACK your spot- on critic blessed you with.)
…I can’t imagine what sparked this off; I find it bizarre. It’s a shame the execution didn’t work out.
(Lie: What were you thinking? Probably nothing of value anyway. Your critic calls it bizarre and it clearly baffled them why you would submit this piece in the first place. I am sure they sat around their artsy “storyboard” creative workshop and laughed their heads off over your writing attempt. It’s a shame that you submitted it. You should be ashamed you even wrote it.)
So take that stupid enemy of my soul!
(Please go back when you have a moment and insert your name where KATIE is in those verses. Read them out loud with confidence, not in ourselves but in the ONE who created us and who NEVER MAKES A MISTAKE OR RUBBISH!)
PLEASE HEAR ME:
I am a huge advocate of constructive criticism. I want to be in the process of “becoming” until the day Jesus takes me home. I want to be a life-long learner; therefore, I am rejecting the spirit of offense, drowning out the lies of the enemy with the THRUTH OF GOD’S WORD and sifting out the gold in the FEEDBACK in order to grow.
We so often let the opinions of strangers trump the love right in front of us. God will give us abundance of affirmation, and somehow, we miss it with one critique OR cross look from someone who doesn’t even know us, or doesn’t know us well.
I am making a concerted effort not to miss the support and encouragement God has placed in my life.
I pray you do as well.
On the coat tail of the FEEDBACK email. I received this from MY PEOPLE and I did not miss it!
MY HUSBAND ADDED “KISS JAY”(JAY IS MY HUSBAND BY THE WAY:) TO MY TO-DO LIST IN THE KITCHEN
A SPONTANEOUS COFFEE DATE WITH A FRIEND I HADN’T SEEN IN A WHILE CULMINATED IN THE MOST PRECIOUS POEM. A PRICELESS GIFT THAT I AM NOT TAKING FOR GRANTED.
AND A BIRTHDAY GIFT STRATEGICALLY PLACED BESIDE MY READING SPOT, A JOURNAL, A GIFT FROM MY SISTER IN CHRIST TRAVELING ALONGSIDE ME TO COSTA RICA TOMORROW ON A MISSION TRIP.
What the enemy meant to shut me down with, God used:
to open my eyes to the gifts around me,
to send me on a treasure-hunt for WHO I AM IN CHRIST,
and to write this blog post instead of shutting down psalm8110.com forever.
“You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result.”
Genesis 50:20 (NASB)
I pray this post encourages someone to “keep on keeping on.” God will birth HIS miraculous through each and everyone of us, if we do no give up.
The nay-sayers will come, but try not to take it personally. It is just the spirit of offense trying to distract, discourage or derail us. When we see the sneaky little devil for what he is, we can fight back appropriately.
Prayer, praise, and God’s Word enable and empower us to persevere, joyfully, peacefully and through the filter of LOVE!
This blog has been and will continue to be an act of obedience to God when HE told me to take the journey before the people.
I still have my good old fashion journals that go hand-in-hand with my Bible each morning. It is kind of how I breath,
and how I “create every day.”
This public overflow is difficult when stuck in “analysis paralysis”, but if it is what God wants, then I am ALL IN.
I pray it gives HIM all the glory. If it does that, then I can rest in the fact the it has definitely added value to the world.