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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Work (07/27/06)

TITLE: A Tale of a Faith Writer
By Dr. Sharon Schuetz


“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity . . .” Oh, if only I could create a masterpiece like Charles Dickens’, “A Tale of Two Cities”. I guess all I’ll ever do is write a few poems, articles, and short stories for the people at Faith Writers, for my blog, and for my family, at least those who will read them. Jennifer sighed. An hour in front of her computer, with her hands resting on the keys and her eyes glued to the blank screen only added to her battle with depression.

“I don’t know why I even try.” Jennifer slammed the keyboard drawer closed and threw herself across the bed in tears. Forty-eight-year-old Jennifer Wallace was fighting old feelings of failure and uselessness.

“You try because you’re good at what you do.” Bill Wallace sat on the edge of the bed, gently laid his hand on hers, and spoke softly to his bride of twenty-nine-years. “Sweetheart, don’t let a couple of negative comments get you so discouraged. You’re a good writer and lots of people benefit from what you have to say.”

“I’ve been part of Faith Writers for three months and I haven’t placed once. I’ve only been in the top forty, three or four times. How can you say I’m a good writer?” Jennifer has struggled with self-worth and value issues all her life. She chose to stay at home with her children and be the best wife and mother she could be. Now they were all married with children, each one serving in ministries in their respective churches. They all desired to provide the same nurturing environment to their children that they received from her.

Bill and Jennifer have served as pastors to the Mt. Sinai Temple for twelve years. With a congregation of 450, they are both busy. Jennifer serves as the Women’s Ministry Director, teaches Intermediate Sunday school, and manages the office staff. She works hard to find time to write.

“What about all those articles you’ve had published in those magazines and that women’s magazine you do the column for. Lots of people read those and you know you’re helping them.” Bill understood Jennifer’s feelings of inadequacy. She had worked hard to earn her Master’s degree in counseling, but still struggled with the fact that she had quit high school. Jennifer was convinced that she was stupid, the nickname her brothers gave her when she was a child. Bill knew, however, that she was brilliant and talented in so many areas that her whole life blessed others.

“Yeah, you’re right.” Jennifer sat up and took the tissue Bill handed her. “I’m sorry, Honey. I know I’m being silly. It’s only one person’s opinion. It’s a good article and I know I’ll sell it, It just hurts when I write something that I feel is good and everyone else doesn’t think it’s as good as I do.” Bill loved Jennifer’s smile, even a sheepish one. Jennifer scooted closer into Bill’s embrace. “I love you. Thanks for being so patient with me.

‘I’d better get back to work on my article. This week’s topic is a killer.” Jennifer sniffled, bounced off the bed, and slid into the chair in front of her computer.

“What is it? Bill raised a curious eyebrow.

“Confidence.” Jennifer giggled.

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This article has been read 1077 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Ann Darcy08/03/06
I really liked this story! The topic at the end really tied it together. The only critique I would have was that you get into Bill's head near the end as well as being in Jennifer's. And that's pretty simple to correct. Thanks for sharing!
Rita Garcia08/03/06
You must have a camera and mic at my house! This is fantastic! I love the ending topic, it wrapped it all up so well.
Marilyn Schnepp 08/05/06
I'd hate to add to your tears by saying anything discouraging...so instead I will make you smile. Good job, nicely done. Thank you for sharing your story with other members of Faithwriters.
Summer Cordon08/06/06
Thanks for describing what I'm sure we've all gone through at one time or another. Criticism is never easy, but it should make us better writers. Thanks for your vulnerability, girl. I'm looking forward to seeing you win someday!!
Tracey Jackson08/07/06
Wouldn't we all like to write like Dickens?! Thanks for encouraging us all with your story.
Jen Davis08/07/06
You've only been participating in FaithWriters for a few months and have already hit top forty 3-4 times? I would say you're doing great! We all need encouragement. Thanks for sharing your story with us. Keep up the good work;)
Helen Paynter08/07/06
Great, funny, (if I say watch your tenses you won't be upset will you?!) Enjoyed this.
Joanne Sher 08/07/06
I think we all CAN relate to this in some way (other than Kenn, of course!). Thanks for reminding us we're not alone!!
Allison Egley 08/07/06
Oh yes. I think ALL of us can relate to this. I found myself adjusting what she was saying and laughing at myself! ("I've never placed in the top 40 and....")
Amy Nicholson08/07/06
I enjoyed this piece. I could relate in more ways than one. I've only been here 3 mos., too, and haven't placed. (sniff, sniff) I just wonder, why wasn't this written in the 1st person?...Hmmm...Great work, though! Thanks for sharing what everyone is feeling at one time or another.
Trina Courtenay08/08/06
Thanks for sharing and showing me I'm not the only one here that feels this way. I truly believe if we write for the glory of HIM then we've already made #1 GC...Gods Choice.
Ann FitzHenry08/09/06
Yep! We've all been here! And, for some mysterious reason, we're all driven to submit another entry! Just when I think I want to give up, I get a wonderful comment that urges me on.

Blessings in your writing!

Constance Gilbert08/16/06
I leave Reflections for Faith Writers because there are more light,fun to read ... and write... articles. As I read I was saying "true... true.." then laughed at confidence. You brightened my day!