My Not-So-Thick Skin

As writers, one admonition we continuously hear is: develop a thick skin. It’s a tough business, one usually filled with more put downs than adoration so it makes sense to construct that thick layer of skin.

I actually thought my skin was pretty tough until …

Those final round Genesis critiques came back.

Whoa. Can you say eye-opening?

Now, to be honest, they weren’t all bad. Actually, they were all over the place with one directly contradicting the other, leaving me scratching my head.

And then those doubts, those nasty lies started creeping in. See, you’re not that good. You’re not even close to ready! After all, these are editors not just readers. They were probably wondering how you ever made it to the final round!

And then another voice broke through that negative maelstrom, one that asked, “Who, pray tell, are you listening to?”

Well, uh, I’m listening to that little voice on my left shoulder–

“You just tell that voice to skedaddle.”

But–

“Ahem.”

Please go way? my teeny voice eeked.

“I can’t hear you.”

<Clearing throat>Liar, go away!

“There, that’s better. Now, listen to Me.”

And God’s voice poured from Psalm 139 as He reminded me Who I’m writing for and why I’m writing.

I asked what I needed to learn from this experience, and He replied that my skin is still a mite transparent, it needs to have a few more calluses. Part of me is a skosh frightened about what that portends. 😉

But, no matter where my writing goes, and no matter how much it gets knocked down, God will be walking right beside me kicking that doubt-building imp off my shoulder. I thank God for these callus-building opportunities!

7 thoughts on “My Not-So-Thick Skin

  1. Brenda, if you didn’t have doubts, you’d be over-confident. However, there’s a huge different between having doubts and listening to lies. You and I have both discussed the “value” of contests. And the flaws.

    I don’t say this to everyone, but the prophet in me says this to you: It’s only a matter of time. You have the perseverance, the determination, and the directive from the Lord to keep going and to make it. Not to mention the talent. So. Press on. Continue to rebuke the liar. And go where God leads. You’ll certainly get there.

    • Thank you, Nicole. Your support & prayers mean the world to me!

      It’s that support that helps me discern what’s truth & what’s a lie. Recognizing the lies for what they are is key to being able to press on toward God’s goals.

  2. Gee, must be the same voice that I hear. Same source? I think so. I am becoming ambivalent towards contests. Mine are always split right down the center. We’ll get there. And you know I’ll always be right beside you cheering you on.

    • And I’m cheering you on, Dawn! You’ll have to let me know when you send all your requested materials off. It’s exciting, isn’t it? I’m working on polishing my novel & proposal to a fine shine, but want to send it off before too long.

      I’m feeling the same way toward contests (although I’m thrilled to have made it this far in the Genesis!). There never seems to be a consensus among the judges–it would be one thing if more than one said the same thing, but too often they contradict each other. Then what do you do?

  3. Oh, Brenda, I am so there with you! Those kind of comments literally pulled me AWAY from writing, and now I’m struggling to get back in! And it’s not actually the truly critical ones that do it, but the non-committal ones! Hang in there – and just frame the good ones. 😉

    • Regina, it’s very easy to let critiques get to us, isn’t it? It’s turning those comments around and asking, “What can I learn from this?” that helps me make it through. This time I had to learn that my skin needed a bit more toughening up. 😉

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