Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tested by Praise

Today in my Bible reading I came across a Scripture that hit me over the head. You know that type? You're reading along and all of the sudden something pops out? This is what I saw:

Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but a person is tested by being praised. Proverbs 27:21 (New Living)

Usually we think it's the negative reviews and critiques we have to watch out for. Those are the ones that can derail us and set us off into a hole of self-doubt. Right? Sure, we can be impacted by negative reviews, but what about the positive ones?

Now I'm not saying we shouldn't listen to praise from our peers, family and friends. We all need encouragement. But something I was very surprised to find when my first novel got published was the temptation to believe my own press. Not that I got many huge, glowing endorsements or beautiful reviews in prestigious publications. Sometimes my test came just from someone telling me, "After the years you put into it, you deserved to be published." It would be very easy to think, "Yeah, I do deserve this."

The problem with that type of thinking, for me at least, is it can (notice I say can) lead to a wrong attitude about why, as a Christian writer, I'm doing what I'm doing. The truth of the matter is I don't deserve anything more than the next gal.

This same principle can apply to critiques of our as-yet-unpublished writing too. If someone tells us we're the next Jane Austen, and we let ourselves believe it, it could possibly make it harder for us to receive constructive criticism from an editor. After all, we write like Jane Austen. Why would we need to change anything?

You see what I mean?

So the key in all this is not to beat ourselves up and never receive praise but to remember every good thing comes from above. If our writing or our job or our ministry connects with someone, it's because of God's grace and His giftings in our lives. Not because we're better than anyone else. This will help us keep a balanced perspective when the good reviews roll in, but also when the bad ones come (and they will). Neither one should derail us.

Friday, October 08, 2010

A New Venture -!

I'm excited to let you know about a brand new e-zine called You may have heard of it, but the goal of the magazine is to "serve the Christian fiction reader with news updates, up-to-date release lists, reviews, interviews, book trailers, and more."

I'm honored to be one of several contributing editors. My focus is on the suspense/mystery genre as well as Christian and family-friendly movies and dvds. This work won't detract from my work at If anything, it will make me even more aware of what's new and upcoming.

The premier issue of FamilyFiction Magazine is out today! My profiles are on best-selling author Joel Rosenberg and film maker Dallas Jenkins. Check it out here.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Why I've Been Silent

Hello, friends!

First off, my apologies for the extended leave of absence here on this blog. Things have been super busy what with the upcoming release of my next novel Bound by Guilt, my work with, and my newest venture as a Contributing Editor at Oh, and did I mention the day job? :)

I've been learning a lot in the past couple weeks about juggling and making everything work together. I started a new novel and was about 50K into the rough draft when I realized I might've been on the wrong track with the story. It's funny. As soon as I set the book aside for a week or two, another story popped into my head, aspects of which I've been thinking about for many years. That seems to be the way things work for me. My better scenes are usually ones I've mulled many, many times.

So there you have it. I'm back, and plan to hear from me more in the future! You decide if that's a good thing or not ... ;)