FCWC BLOG

Never Discredit Anyone (Especially God)
6/17/2016 2:25:38 PM by: Eva Marie Everson


By, Eva Marie Everson


I meet a lot of folks at writers conferences--sometimes in my classes, sometimes at a meal, sometimes just in passing. 

A lot of writers conferences have the "pre-conference critique" option. This allows the conferee to send X-number of pages to faculty members (along with a stipend) who will, in turn, read and edit the work. Then, at the conference, the two sit together in a 15-minute session so the faculty member can help in guiding the writer.

I've done this a number of times.

Such was the time with "Debbie."

Debbie's work came to me two years ago right before the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. As soon as I started working on it, I saw the usual "new writer of fiction" mistakes, such as a lot of telling and very little showing ... overuse of words ... and a story that had potential but was dragging at the starting line. 
During our meeting I showed these issues (along with all the things she was already doing right) to Debbie. She listened intently. Took notes. Thanked me.


The next day she approached me right after the morning general session. "May I ask you a question?" she asked.
(I assumed she meant other than the one she just asked ...) 


"Of course."


Tears sprang to her eyes. "Do you think I should quit and go home?"


I felt air leave my lungs. Who would tell her such a thing? I immediately said, "No! Why?"


Apparently one of the faculty members she'd met with told her that writing was not her forte. "Quit and go home" may not have been the exact words, but the meaning was clearly understood.


"Don't you dare listen to that," I told her. "You keep doing what you're doing. Now, if God tells you to quit, quit. But I don't hear any booming voices from heaven, do you?"


She thanked me with trembling lips and we went on our way.


The following year, Debbie joined my fiction practicum, which is about 6.5 hours of hands-on work. As we read her work I clearly thought, "Wow. Someone has been doing her homework."


After the class, Debbie also joined Word Weavers. (Good move, Debbie!)


This past BRMCWC, as I told this story during part of my Tuesday night keynote--as I had Debbie stand and greet the crowd of 400 and the crowd greet Debbie--I knew I had a special secret that only a few others knew. I knew that the next evening's awards banquet would include me handing Debbie a FIRST PLACE certificate in the SHORT STORIES genre. 


Debbie received a standing ovation as she and I cried together on the stage.


I could not have been more proud.


Listen people. When it comes to writing and conferences and writers and all that, only God knows the final outcome. You may write and write and write, thinking you will be the next bestselling author. God may have other plans. Or, you may think that your series of blog posts on rearing your three toddlers (who knew you could have another one so soon?) is nothing more than you expressing your funny and not-so-funny moments. But God may have other plans.


Don't discredit anyone and especially don't discredit God. 

 

 

 

Your turn: Has someone’s opinion shattered your dreams only to make you work harder and be rewarded? Leave a comment below to encourage others. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eva Marie Everson is the founder and president of Word Weavers International, the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference, and an award winning fiction and nonfiction author.  
 

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Comments

Jan Willis From Lexington, SC At 6/17/2016 5:04:12 PM

Mon. night at the BRMCWC 2016 I texted my husband, ""Come get me. Should not be here. Told at app. I lack ''academic training in theology or psychology.'' Life experience not credentials. Not a writer."" He texted, ""Praying."" Jesus encouraged me through your keynote. Keep writing His words to me.

Bonnie Sue Beardsley From Saginaw At 6/17/2016 4:37:23 PM

I had started writing a book until a friend told me I was wasting my time. There were good books on that subject. I stopped writing completely, even though I was sure God wanted me to write this book. Recently, I found the notebook I started the book in. Through WW I''m working on finishing it.

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