Awards, Writing, and Motivation

first place ribbon held by manLast Friday I cheered as my two youngest children participated in their annual AWANA Grand Prix. Each child chose a design for a novelty car, crafted it, and then participated in the races. At the end of the evening trophies were handed out to the three fastest vehicles and the top three choices for design. My youngest daughter was devastated that she didn’t receive a trophy. (Her car was one of four that had to run off for third place.) She leaned against me and sobbed.

Last week I received an e-mail announcing the finalists for the 2014 Word Awards. I submitted an entry, but didn’t make it onto the list. One of my friends who submitted an entry published in the same collection as mine did get her name on the list. When I first read the names of the finalists, feelings of discouragement, envy, frustration, and defeat hit me. I wanted my name on the list! I could understand why my daughter reacted the way she did.

Instead of focusing on my feelings, I decided to focus on congratulating those I know who made the list. I reread the list and was pleased to find the names of many InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship members. I sent out congratulations by email and posted congratulations on Facebook. As I focused on celebrating with others, my sense of loss diminished.

I also thought about my writing and what motivates me. In her recent blog post, Susan Barclay said:

I want my work to please an audience of One; the One who predisposed me to write. If I succeed in doing that, I’ll be satisfied.

I agree. Pleasing God is what motivates me to write. If I’ve been obedient and He is pleased, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. The results are in His hands. They are His responsibility.