Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Writer’s Skill/Craft (04/22/10)
By Carmelitta Evans
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Of course, he already knew what she was working on. The question was merely an avenue by which he could broach the subject.
She felt the tension attempt to ease its way into her muscles. Almost instinctively, but more out of habit formed from the repetition of too many similar episodes, she took a deep breath, releasing it slowing before offering up her response.
“A submission for this week’s contest,” she replied with feigned excitement.
She was well aware of his resentment of her time “wasted” pouring her heart and emotions out in a plethora of words that formed phrases that flowed into paragraphs that filled these blank white pages.
“What exactly is it you get out of that again?’ His question held little tone of inquiry, but was dripping with sarcasm. He turned his attention from the monitor and headed in the direction of the refrigerator, certain that he was on his own again for any mid-day snack with her concentration far from his needs.
She knew he was referring to monetary benefit. Everything always came down to money with him. Time spent doing anything other than earning additional income or saving the hard-earned finances accumulated was nothing beyond wasted effort. Thus the birth of her demon of guilt for any time spent pecking away at the keys of futility.
“Enjoyment,” she answered.
She couldn’t admit to him that all of her works remained in the quiet solitude of her computer; unread and imprisoned without any opportunity to take on any life of their own or join the chorus of other literary works in any domain.
How could she convey to him that these works were her babies, conceived in utter joy and she could not bear with releasing them to the harsh realities of criticism and possibly even ridicule? They might be nothing more than words on paper to the reader, but it was pure emotion that had poured from her soul, a part of her that she had given away to take on a life of its own.
Now that would be a true exhibition of the writer’s skill, the writer’s craft in her if she were able to convey in some form of the written word what writing meant to her in a way that made even him say, “I get it.” Or if better yet, if she could win the accolades of more polished and experienced writers, or possibly even a monetary reward. Of course, her works would need to be released from the captivity of her computer files and be given freedom of flight via the wings of the internet before her words had any hope of settling in any reader’s mind or heart.
To add to her defeatist attitude was the fact that she had chosen the most difficult genre – Christian fiction, at least as far as selling to the general public. She had only recently come to know Jesus as her Savior. Her husband still wasn’t there, and she found it difficult to talk to him about her writing. It was perhaps his cynical attitude that stole her enthusiasm and fertilized her fear of rejection.
Earlier that morning as she read her Bible she was led to 1Corinthians 2:6-16 where Paul explained how he used words of wisdom when he was with mature Christians, but not the wisdom that appeals to rulers of this world. He was talking about the secret wisdom of God, the wisdom of God given through God’s Holy Spirit. It’s wisdom that those who don’t know God cannot comprehend. It gave her a better understanding of why Christian fiction is almost frowned upon in the best-selling publishing industry, but a revelation too. She was not writing to appeal to anyone. She was writing to pour out the overflow of God’s love in her heart, something meant to be shared, perhaps making Christian fiction the best genre for writing.
She gave the document one final proof, saved the changes then loaded it into the submissions page with only a flutter of fear as she clicked the “submit” button, ready to accept criticism. After all, it’s not so much about the writer’s skill as it is the writer’s willingness to be obedient to the all-time expert of the writer’s craft.
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