Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Those Pesky Judges' Score Sheets

Contests and judges score sheets! I entered a Christian writing contest and got notified that I was a finalist in my genre, Romantic Suspense, for my entry ‘A Lily Among Thorns.’  My first set of judges score sheets included three sets. Out of the three sets, one gave me high scores and remarks were very positive. Another one’s score was medium range. Then one had relatively low scores.

I devoured them all. I want to improve, be a better writer. Did I feel defensive sometimes? You betcha! Writing is our creative baby. Don’t call my baby ugly or intellectually challenged. Besides, it’s okay to feel defensive as long as we don’t allow it to stymie our creative juices.

It is the intent of the enemy of our soul, that deceitful devil, to get us to concentrate on the negative things—so much so that we fail to hear the voice of God, and ignore the Holy Spirit’s gentle nudging.  Use negative criticism to improve your skills and talents, whatever that may be.

When I got the score sheets from the final judge, an editor from Harlequin, that said I won for my category, Romantic Suspense, I devoured them. It cost $25 to enter the contest, and in my estimation, receiving all four sets of judges’ scores is well worth the investment. These are professionals who looked over my work and provided me with feedback.

I took all the advice and suggestions these experts had to give and went back and made changes to my manuscript.  I feel good about it. In fact, I feel awesomely blessed.

Keep your heart open to critiques, and tell yourself that it’s God’s way of helping you on your writing journey.  As we commit our endeavors to the Lord, he brings these things our way. Trust Him, and believe in yourself. God does!

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