The Getting Critiqued Blues

Ba da da da dum / I got the blues…
Ba da da da dum /  I got the getting critiqued blues…
Ba da da da dum /  …
the just-got-my-first-rough-critique-of-my-novel-that-I-thought-was-almost-done-and-no-body’s-gonna-like-cause-it-obviously-stinks-so-why-even-bother-blues.

Overly dramatic, perhaps? I reacted like the stereotypical writer/creative that turns critique into self-loathing.

Last week I wrote about the distinction between judgment and critique. I did so in anticipation of joining American Christian Fiction Writers‘ Scribes critique group. I quickly did my two required critiques that earned me my submission of the first chapter of Good GracesContinue reading “The Getting Critiqued Blues”

Don’t Judge Me

pic_inside_editingThe first time I remember being judged by a group of my peers occurred on a dark, dreary day in the second grade at Winegard Elementary School. It was the annual second grade spelling bee for which I had studied for weeks. Although confident that I had earned my way to the final two spellers, my clammy hands gave away my nervousness. The final round. I looked out over the crowd of my classmates watching intently (the classmates of the winner received an ice cream party — a lot was at stake).

“Spell kite,” the librarian-turned-spelling-bee-moderator asked the cocky boy standing nearest her. Looking over at me he answered her without hesitation. “K-I-T-E.” The students in his class cheered, fists pumping high into the air.

This was it. It was up to me. Spell one more word right and I catapulted us into overtime and another chance to win. Get it wrong, and it was all over.

Continue reading “Don’t Judge Me”

Becoming an Author


What distinguishes a writer from an author?

As I’ve worked on my first novel for a year and a half now, I wonder if I’ve discovered the distinction. I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember. Short poems as a child. Assigned essays and papers as a student. Letters to a loved one. Then…

I became an author when the story I had to tell
was birthed from the desire for others to read it.

Sound simple enough? No real light bulb moment there. But stay with me. A few years ago, I felt a stirring within me to tell a story I wanted to share. For consumption and experience. My own life experiences through over thirty years gave me confidence in some truths I had learned, of forgiveness and acceptance and true love. They weren’t easy lessons to learn and I wanted to share these “ah-ha” moments in a way that might really stick with you – through story. Of course, I hope readers are entertained. But so much more than enjoyment, I cannot help but crave giving others the chance to “meet” new friends and “see” new places. If you’re a lover of fiction, you know what I mean.

I’m speaking here of authors of fiction. But it’s the same, really, for authors of non-fiction. Their desire to commentate on issues, explain solutions, educate about the unknown, and so much more comes from the same place. Maybe we see it as the degree to which one is called to write. Authors are called to not just write, but write for the good of those who will read it. I sure hope that doesn’t sound narcissistic. Heavens, that’s not how I feel. Rather, it’s a humbling thing to have the opportunity to share what is deep within. What goes beyond.

Are you a writer? An author? I’d love to hear what you see as the distinction between the two. Good news, friend, we’re all a draft in the making. Not sure yet, just scribble a note in the margin and come back later.