Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What in the world am I thinking?

Have you ever had one of those moments when you thought, "What in the world am I thinking?"

I had one of those this morning about my writing.

So I know I'm an ok writer. I've had some things published and have won a few contests. But I'll be honest. Right now, as I prepare to attend the ACFW conference, I feel way out of my league. I mean, why did I ever entertain the idea that an insecure girl like me, from a small Michigan town, could make it as an actual author? Why would anyone even want to read what I have to say? Why would an agent or editor take a chance on me? I must have my head in the clouds.

See what I mean about being insecure?

Maybe my bursts of insecurity have to do with being overwhelmed at the thought of meeting some of my favorite authors. Of thinking that I am actually attending the same conference as multi-published, award-winning novelists. Of knowing I'll be rubbing shoulders with people on the A-list. Those who know everything there is to know about the publishing industry and deal with writers every day who aren't just OK, but REALLY GREAT! Sorry, but for me, that's intimidating! I have this fear that when I open my mouth to speak, I'll start fumbling all over myself and everyone will point and laugh. And all that will be left to do is hang my head and exit as quickly and quietly as I can.

Or maybe my recent feeling of inadequacy has to do with the fact that I didn't receive "the call" by the 25th (that would be yesterday) letting me know that I finaled in the's Get your Stiletto in the Door contest. I entered in the inspirational category, and was so excited at the opportunity to possibly have my work put in front of agent, Kelly Mortimer, and editor Beth Adams (Guideposts). But, the inspy category was cut at the last minute because of lack of entries. I was given the choice to get my money back or have my entry transferred to another category. I chose "Chick Thrill" because my entry is a mystery. Well, I knew there would be a lot more competition in that category and that my chances had just decreased, but I wanted the feedback, and the same entry is a finalist in the ACFW Genesis contest this year, so I entered anyway. Well, the 25th is past and the finalists have been notified, so...sigh...despite the fact that I didn't expect to final, it's still disappointing.

Or maybe my insecurities have popped up due to it being almost that time of the month (a little too much honesty for you?)

But I'll get over it - maybe not until after the conference, but this feeling won't last forever.

Because despite all of my "what in the world am I thinking" moments, I know God has given me a gift to write. And I believe that I am to use that gift for His glory. I recall all of the doors he has opened and the confirmations He has placed in my path. I am convinced that I have the ability to craft a story and even to make it shine. And I am determined to do everything I can to make Him proud.

Now I only have to scrounge up the faith that when I open my mouth, I'll actually say something intelligent and the hope that nobody will really point and laugh.


PatriciaW said...

Awww, sorry you didn't final. But I'm glad you know you were gifted to write. Because you were.

Conference would be overwhelming for any first-time attendee. Be yourself and remember that they all wear undies too. Authors, agents and editors are people.

I believe good things for you in Denver!

Lynda Schab said...

Thanks, Patricia. You are so encouraging (which makes for an awesome crit partner :-)). Thanks for the boost.

Joanne Sher said...

I LOVE your honesty Lynda. You are DEFINITELY gifted to write, girl. Trust in Him, not your "self-esteem," dear friend!

Denver is gonna be AWESOME, dear!

Dara said...

I understand the insecurity. I struggle with it too. Especially about my current project. I wonder if I'll ever have what it takes to be a published author.

You'll be fine though--and think of all the connections you'll make at the conference! I'm a little green with envy :P

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes, I've been there. Here's the awesome things about working for God. He will empower you to do "immeasurably more" than we ever could imagine (eph 3:20). So knowing that you aren't "all that" is the best place to be! God can and will do His awesome work through you!

Phee Paradise said...

Oh dear. You're so far ahead of me in all the areas you talked about. Does one ever reach complete confidence? At least I know God is guiding my writing and I pray He will always use it for His glory. Obviously, He is doing that with yours.

Vonnie said...

I get that feeling when I walk into a bookstore or library. I think, "There are SO many books already. Why should I try to add anymore?"

Then, someone reads something I've written and tells me how it blessed them. I know it's God's way of saying, "I have given you the skills to do this, so push forward and do it."

Thanks for sharing. We need to see that we're not the only one feeling this way.

The Surrendered Scribe said...

I understand all you explained (even the time of month part) but the encourager part God put in me has this to say:

You can do this, and you were created to do this. All our favorite authors had their first big conference, meetings, and words to say to sound intelligent in front of their peers. You are a called writer and there is no better kind. Attend that conference with your head held high and the expectation that God is taking you to the next level, it just doesn't have to be confirmed through final-ing in a contest.

I think you are going to see great things and direction in your ministry, and I for one have been transformed for Him because of it.

So proud of you for stepping out and please repeat this back to me when it's my turn, ha ha.

Thank you for putting yourself out there and being real.


Dorothy Adamek said...

Hi Lynda,
You go girl. Go to that conference, with great expectations. The steps are just there, and each one will take you closer to where God wants you to be in your writing. Put your toe out and when you do, do it for me too, and all the others who would love to be going! We will want a FULL ACCOUNT of your trip and all you see and hear, because one day hopefully, we will be the brave ones taking that step alongside you :)

Phil 1:6...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus....11 to the glory and praise of God.

Coleene VanTilburg said...

Dear Lynda, This is fellow faithwriter, Coleene...thank you for your,do I ever know those feelings...I felt them going to the FW conference...but when God confirms and you keep getting those whispers in your ear.."Hey, you are doing good...keep going"...we need to listen. The Apostle Paul didn't become a great preacher over night and he had that thorn... God is sovereign and He will use our words when we aren't expecting it...that's the real key here. Keep going girl. In His love, Coleene VanTilburg

Diana D said...

Can I be honest? That's totally how I felt going to the FW conference and specifically meeting you (man, was I intimidated). I aspire to be able to write with your clarity, humour and sass.

So sorry that you didn't get "the call," but please don't mistake that for anything more. You've blessed so many peeps already with your writing - the Lord's blessings flowing through your pen (or keyboard, whatever ;-) ).

Denver or bust, baby. Point and laugh? Nah. They'll love you.

KarlaB27 said...

I don't know if this is any consolation but I too was anxiously awaiting the results of the contest. I checked back on the site and the finalists were supposed to be notified September 5th, today. It appears they got behind in the judging. So you still may be in the running. I know how it feels to want to have that validation, but reading your post just now, I realized that this is what God means for me to do with my talent, no matter what the Chicklit Writer's judges say. So, keep the faith.