Sunday, March 22, 2015

picking those scabs

When I was a kid I was fascinated with picking my scabs. I would pull and prod and pick at any wound on my body (and since I was a tomboy, there was always a fresh wound somewhere), until it bled. Then when it scabbed over in a few days, I was right back at it. This is why I have so many scars on my arms, hands and legs. If I would have left all those minor abrasions alone, they would have healed without a mark.

And I haven’t changed much. Except now those wounds are psychological. Twice a day I go back to, type in my name and see the ugly number 2 next to my book, “The Early Life of Jesus in 40 Days”. And I stare at those two and a half stars in sunshine yellow and tell myself that I am a loser. Day after day after day.

Then, because no open wound is worth having without pouring salt in it, I check the ratings on my other two books. They have been holding their own, with much more yellow than white in their stars. But then Friday, lo and behold, “A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven” had a new five star review. The funny thing is the person writing the review really appreciated the appendix about diseases in Africa. When my publisher suggested adding that information there instead of sprinkling it throughout the main body of the text, I was appalled. I didn’t want anyone thinking that I had written something academic.

Yet here was a reader who had gotten the most out of that part of the book. Don’t you hate it when those professional publishers know more about your manuscript than you do?

Anyway, it gave me the boost I needed. Maybe I will keep working on this writing thing. Maybe I will keeping submitting, keep promoting my books on social media. Maybe I will be able to rework my friend’s manuscript until it is presentable. Maybe something I wrote will make a difference in someone else’s life. Maybe. Just maybe.

My goals? Still not on track with that. I may have to just start fresh in the new Round next month.
 How are you doing with your goals? Are you staying on task or have you wandered as well? Just remember there is always a new Round around the corner.  

(Pictures courtesy of my clumsiness on vacation in Missouri last year.)


  1. Chris, many of us have very few book reviews and ratings - under NO circumstances does it mean you are a loser. Amazon and co. started this dreadful obligation that allows everyone to be attacked, feel inadequate and it's crazy. Most of us still just read for pleasure and don't review as it's a new thing. It never means your work hasn't be enjoyed and valued. Sometimes people are just too shy to come forward.

    Hang in there. I have found through my Christian walk that it sometimes takes years for things to fall into place, then I look back and only then, can I see it is God's timing in action. Everything has a season.

    Follow your faith, be gentle with yourself and hope for a better tomorrow. After many years of clinical depression (and yes, I still struggle at times), I can guarantee you something better IS coming. Stay close to the Lord.

    1. Thanks, Cate, for the support. I'm hanging in there, waiting to see where God really wants me to go next.

  2. I'm not religious b nature, but it seems to me that God wouldn't create 'losers' - or be very happy about you calling yourself that.

    I've been writing since I was seven years old, and, on the whole, have published very little in traditional arenas - a couple of essays, a couple of poems, and one short story. But my blog is rich and active, and people tell me, from time to time, that something I wrote touched them.

    And that's the point, for me. Yes, I would LOVE to get to that place where I have a whole virtual shelf full of books, and to have people buying, reading, and commenting on how much they loved them....but, until then, the joy is in the writing, the reaching-out, the moments of connection, whatever they are...

    Because, seriously, if I don't write, I become a much less pleasant version of myself...and that's not cool.

    As for scabs....I, too, am a lifelong picker. Perhaps someday I won't be. There's always room for healing and change....

    1. Thanks, Shan. It is easy to lose focus and easier to forget what is important, why we really write. I will pick it up again when I can no longer stand not writing. Luckily I have had no scabs to pick, just a paper cut today!