A Writer’s Journey

This post is somewhat belated, but as they say, “Better late than never”.

Several months ago, I decided to enter a local writing contest. The ACFW chapter for Southeast Wisconsin holds a conference every year and as part of this year’s conference, they decided to have a flash fiction contest.

I’d never written flash fiction before. And to be honest, the thought of writing a complete story in less than 1000 words scared me. I’m a rather verbose writer – I’ll admit it. The first draft of my flash fiction story topped 2000 words.

Ouch.

So I scrapped a few paragraphs, tried a new angle, and after weeks of editing and re-editing, I was done.

My inspiration? A story that I wrote fifteen years ago – or rather, co-wrote with another writer.  We each wrote for a character, sending e-mails back and forth as the story progressed. Then one day, the e-mails stopped. The story remained unfinished.

This is the end of that story.

And on April 1, at the ACFW WI SE Writer’s Conference, the winner of the contest was announced. I fully expected someone else to win. After all, I had only been writing seriously for a little over a year. This was the second contest I had entered.

My humble spirit wouldn’t let me believe that I could deserve such an honor.

I was wrong.

The moment my story was announced as the winner, I could barely contain my excitement. As I sat there, listening to Susan Baganz read my story, I kept thinking to myself that this had to be a dream. But her smile, and the applause of the other writers in attendance, told me otherwise.

Now, over three months later, I still go through times when I question my ability as a writer, despite that accomplishment. I go through dry spells during which I write nothing for weeks. I stare at my computer screen and think that I’ll never finish my book, and even if I do, will I write another?

Then I remember why I write. Not for money or fame (although they would be nice perks), but to spread God’s enduring love to the heartbroken, the downtrodden, the ones who don’t think anyone cares or will ever care.

So I keep writing, guided by God’s hope and love for me.

It will be a long road, but I will get there.

Until then, I will share my short stories.

So without further ado… here it is.

A Ray of Hope

 

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