Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Critique/Review (for writers) (05/06/10)
TITLE: My Worst Enemy
By Karen Macor
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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 God’s 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 mind’s imagination.
Yet, when I open my eyes, and really look He’s found in all creation.
The crashing waves and seething froth whipped up by the winter storms
Remind me of God’s tremendous power, and how he mourns
When we turn from Him blown by life’s 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.
You’re doing it again, a little voice whispered in my head. It’s choppy, and it has too many lines. You’ve 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 I’m making.
The little voice in my head babbled on. Why are you doing this? Who’s going to be interested in your pictures? It’s just like that last book you did. The idea was good but you don’t have any training and you don’t know what you’re doing.
Discouraged, I saved what I’d 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 didn’t know how to do it.
You’re your own worst enemy, I thought to myself. Quit doing this. Write from your heart. Ask God to help you. If it’s 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.
“You don’t know me but a friend of yours gave me your book to read. I just had to thank you. I’ve 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. I’m going to give church another try. Thanks so much for writing your book and sharing it.”
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. Don’t even go there.
“Hi,” I hesitantly said to my friend on the phone. “I’ve been doing some writing and need an unbiased opinion. Would you mind critiquing it for me?”
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