Tears rolled down my cheeks. This is not what I signed up for, I thought. Or had I?
Let’s back up a few weeks.
For several years now, I’ve been writing. I posted a few blogs here and there and spent countless hours on writing full-length fiction and non-fiction books. I even got published with Chicken Soup for the Soul. Yet my confidence in my writing skills was lacking because I knew I could do better; I just needed some re-training in the art of writing. Therefore, I enrolled in a course with Writer’s Digest University. The goal: 12 Weeks to Your First Draft. Of course, I assumed that I would pay, submerge myself in the brilliant teaching and produce a magnificent first draft worthy of praise by my fearless leader.
As first drafts go, things went a little bit different than I had planned.
The feedback I received proved honest and spot-on. “Okay, I can take this,” I said…week one and week two. But by week four, the folding of the arms and the scowling on my face began to tell a different story. The light my instructor shined on my project revealed a little more truth than I cared to see. I had hit a crossroads. Was I in or was I out?
My choices were these:
A. Grow bitter. Avoid the truth. Assume my teacher has no idea what she is talking about and go about my business in the same stubborn, unsuccessful way in which I’ve been functioning for the past few years…
B. Accept that no one is ever perfect; there is always room for growth. Growing is sometimes hard and painful, but necessary to be a better person, writer, [fill in the blank]. Keep my eye on the prize, assimilate the lessons and apply these new truths.
For any of you that truly know me, you know that I would have chosen A throughout the earlier chapters of my life. But, no more. B, it is! So I wiped the tears, put on my big girl panties and set out at the work of applying that feedback. After all, staying stagnant would do me no good.
Of course, writing isn’t the only area of improvement I need in my life. God continues to shine his light onto the sins I carelessly choose or the flaws I haven’t quite worked out yet; but even more so than my instructor at WDU, I know God has my best interests at heart. He disciplines me and guides me in love; he teaches me lessons so I can learn to apply them. What about you: are you willing to learn? The rewards are always great.