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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Critique/Review (for writers) (05/06/10)

TITLE: My Worst Enemy
By Karen Macor


There, itís finished, I thought to myself with a distinct lack of enthusiasm.

It had been a discipline to complete the book, and all I wanted to do was to be done with it, and move on to something more interesting.

My heart soared and ideas danced in my head as I considered my next project. Excitement surged through my veins, and anticipation motivated my efforts to complete the vacuuming so I could concentrate on writing. Most days I enjoyed vacuuming because it gave me the opportunity to think, and dream, without interruption. Nobody came near me for fear of being appointed guardian of the vacuum. But today I was bursting with inspiration, and the vacuuming was sucking up precious time that could be used to write.

Finally, peace and quiet, I sighed with satisfaction. I contentedly sat at my computer and prepared for a most excellent session of creativity. I found our vacation pictures. The vacation had been so picturesque that my eyes had feasted on the beauty and my soul was in awe of Godís creation. I chose the first picture which was of a stormy Oregon coastline and under it I wrote:

My God is an awesome God, far beyond the mindís imagination.
Yet, when I open my eyes, and really look Heís found in all creation.
The crashing waves and seething froth whipped up by the winter storms
Remind me of Godís tremendous power, and how he mourns
When we turn from Him blown by lifeís storms.

I feel the power of the raging sea,
And cry out to God to have mercy on me.
As His love comes crashing in, my fear ebbs back into the sea
And waves of hope ripple over me.

Youíre doing it again, a little voice whispered in my head. Itís choppy, and it has too many lines. Youíve even changed style part way through.

I argued back. If I cut out any more I might as well just leave the picture. I like the change of style. It emphasizes the personal reflection Iím making.

The little voice in my head babbled on. Why are you doing this? Whoís going to be interested in your pictures? Itís just like that last book you did. The idea was good but you donít have any training and you donít know what youíre doing.

Discouraged, I saved what Iíd done and went about my day. I was mad at myself. My heart had so much to say and the vacation was so memorable. My pictures were excellent, but the lessons I learned on that vacation were so outstanding they made the pictures look pallid. I felt I had to share the insights, but now I didnít know how to do it.

Youíre your own worst enemy, I thought to myself. Quit doing this. Write from your heart. Ask God to help you. If itís a message He wants you to share He will give you the words. Go for it.

Over the next couple of weeks I half-heartedly worked on the scrapbook. It had become another discipline. Then I got a phone call from a stranger.

ďYou donít know me but a friend of yours gave me your book to read. I just had to thank you. Iíve struggled for years with many of the same issues you spoke about. I really appreciated your honesty and how you simply shared what was in your heart. You challenged me to let go and forgive. Iím going to give church another try. Thanks so much for writing your book and sharing it.Ē

Hmm, I thought to myself. I had figured that book would reach a female, churched audience. Some judge I am. Go figure, a male, church disillusioned person, and he loved my book. Wow.

I went back to my computer with a puffed up ego, and settled in again for another session of scrapbooking. I let the words tumble out of my mind, roll off my fingertips, and flow onto the screen in front of me. I was alive and inspired. Oh, how good it felt.

When I was done I started to critically reread what I had written. Then I stopped short. You are your own worst enemy, I told myself. Donít even go there.

ďHi,Ē I hesitantly said to my friend on the phone. ďIíve been doing some writing and need an unbiased opinion. Would you mind critiquing it for me?Ē

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This article has been read 531 times
Member Comments
Member Date
AnneRene' Capp05/13/10
Very enjoyable read with so many emotions that I connected with. Also thought you wrote this well and really liked your good natured ending.
Mildred Sheldon05/16/10
All I can say is AMEN. Right on point and beautifully written. We are our own worst enemy
Lisha Hunnicutt05/17/10
Fantastic piece! I too have times where an idea is jumping in my heart trying to get out, but I have trouble making it happen in an effective manner. I then can slip into doubts just as your main character did. I could relate to this.
Beth LaBuff 05/18/10
I had to smile at the "vacuuming was sucking up precious timeÖ". :) You captured my attention throughout this entry. I think I may need to do a little self-examination too. :) Thanks!
Kate Oliver Webb 05/18/10
This is really good. I read it thinking, Been there, done that! Well-written story with the point driven home (but not pounded through). Thank you.
Catrina Bradley 05/18/10
I really enjoyed this! The first part is a little wordy, but when the writer sits down to write, it picked up speed and drew me in. The poetry is lovely! And boy, do I recognize that critic's voice! She talks to me all the time. :) Nice job on this topic!
Marita Thelander 05/19/10
I'm sure every writer on this sight has battled the same critic you have.

Red Ink: I noticed in some of your paragraphs you repeat words (such as vacuum). That paragraph could have been trimmed down a great deal.

Do you have anyone on FW that has edited any of your entries for you? Many of us would be willing to give you some tips. I know I learned a great deal from those who were ahead of me in the journey.
Edmond Ng 05/20/10
I can understand the feeling of what it means to feast on the beauty of God's creation from memories of a vacation. It works for me many times in calming my soul and inspiring me to write.

I like the part you wrote about writing from our hearts and asking God to help us. I do that when I write devotionals, and yes, if it's a message God wants us to share, He will move our hearts to know which direction to go.

I agree it'll do well for us to have others give critiques on our writings because it helps understand our strengths and weaknesses better.

Thanks for sharing this. It speaks to my heart and shares many similar opinions as what I believe is true.

Dusti (Bramlage) Zarse05/21/10
I completely relate. I, too, am my own worst enemy. I can't tell you how many times I've written something, torn it to shreds later, and originally ended up back where I started, chiding myself for being so critical in the first place. Good story!