Today is the day that many of you hear whether or not you made the semifinals for the Genesis Contest. I know what it is like waiting by the phone and answering it many times only to find out it is a sales call or a reminder of your dental appointment (like anyone wants to be reminded of that).
By 8 a.m. you have chewed your fingernails down to the nubbins and promised your mother-in-law she could come and stay for a week in June without even realizing it.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Because we want to be validated in our writing journey. Because we hope to get noticed by the right editor or agent. Because we want to win.
It is so easy to get caught up in the contest that we take our success or failure to final as a sign of our own personal success. I’ve been there and discovered something important.
Success is not measured in contest wins! It is measured in the daily work to perfect your writing craft before your Heavenly Father who has given you the talent that He wants to develop in you.
*The opportunity to be critiqued by skilled professionals.
*The chance to improve your writing skills through the suggestions of those who know the craft.
*A channel God sometimes uses to help you connect with those in the writing industry when it is in His timing.
*An ideal time to grow thick skin.
*An opportunity to cheer for those who achieve recognition whether you are among them or not.
*An opportunity to encourage others who didn’t do as well as they hoped.
What isn’t a writing contest?
*The event that determines whether you will actually be able to become a successful writer.
*A reflection of your overall success as a person.
*An opportunity to grumble about the judges or other contestants who did better than you.
*Something you do solely to gain the approval of others or God.
*A reason to quit chasing your dream to be a writer.
I know for many of you today is a day of waiting by the phone. I entered the Genesis, too. I know how you feel. Last year I let discouragement set in after the contest season because I had my eyes on the wrong goal.
Today, whether the phone rings or not, whether you semifinal or not, God is still the Author and Finisher of our faith. The Giver of Dreams and the One who knows His timing for our journey on the writing path.
While you wait by the phone, wait for His voice to encourage you in a way that a phone call never could. Encourage a friend who is waiting too and cheer for those who God has given the opportunity at this time in their journey to do well in a contest.
Some of my favorite writing contests:
What wisdom have you learned about writing contests or other competitions in your life?