Please – Get Your Facts Straight – REBLOG

tear of grief

REBLOGGING this painful episode from January. Just want you all to know, I have totally healed from it. It was upsetting at the time, but you forgive, heal, and move on.

I’m actually at another writer’s conference this week. So, I’m not generating new material.

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“All the winners are present. And there may be some here who didn’t win, but came very, very close.” I was at a writer’s conference over the weekend where an announcement was made. I’ve talked about it before, but I hate to use the real names, but many of you will know who I’m talking about, and what contest it was.

There were three publishing prizes given out, and three of us were there. But the announcer was wrong, as I was to learn just a minute later. As it happened, two winners were present, and I was the “close” one. But that first statement made me think I’d actually won something, only to have it dashed moments later.

I went into shock. I had to have something to do or I would have totally lost it. I had to keep busy to keep the raging tide of grief inside me from exploding onto my face. So what did I do? I got on Facebook through my Galaxy 5, and posted the winners, congratulating especially the first place winner who was not there.

shockMy hand shook. It took me a couple of minutes to write the short post on my timeline, then a separate post on a group page the winner and I are part of.

Then, I stared at the wall for most of the rest of the speaker’s time, still trying to hold it all inside. The speaker is a household name, and I’d had interaction with him before. It was all I could do to not fall apart right then and there. I was determined not to. I would handle this in a mature way.

In writing, there’s an anagram RUE (Resist the Urge to Explain). I was RUF. I had to Resist the Urge to Flee the room, because that’s all I wanted to do. But to leave at that point would have drawn attention to me, and I didn’t want to do that. I couldn’t look the speaker in the eye for the rest of his address, and I avoided him until the conference was over.

I couldn’t sleep at all that night. While the other two couldn’t sleep because they were so excited and happy, I was dealing with grief, loss, and emotional pain. And of course, it had to be me it happened to. Why? I will never know.

I finally got my courage up, and believe me – it took all I had – the next day – to talk to the household name. I was glad I did, because I learned he had been given the information he announced. I don’t know whose “fault” it was. I just wish they had gotten their facts straight. The man was very nice and last encouraged me in my writing in a special way.

“All the winners are here” was a false statement. I know it was unintentional, but even so, it still hurt – a lot.

Sad girlMoral of this story: when making important announcements, or giving the speaker important information, get your facts straight. Check your lists a second or third time. If you don’t, you may cause someone unnecessary emotional pain. And mine was so needless.

If they’d just said “Two out of three winners are here, and another semi-finalist who is here was very close” – it would have made such a difference to me. It wouldn’t have hurt so much.

I did talk to one of the people running the conference, and told them the same story the same way I had told the household name. “You almost gave me a heart attack…” The light bulb finally went off. I just said, “Just get your facts straight.”

How about you? Have you been wounded by an oversight, a mistake, albeit unintentional? Leave me a comment, and let me know. Tomorrow, I’ll have more news about this blog.

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13 thoughts on “Please – Get Your Facts Straight – REBLOG

    • I lost a night’s sleep over it, but I truly am glad for you! 🙂 I’m OK now. It helps to talk about it. If this had happened several years ago, virtually no one would have known I was ever upset or hurt by it. I’m learning to share and open myself up, being transparent. Thanks so much for your comment. Let us know on the group page how your publishing process goes. 🙂

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  1. I am so deeply sorry. NO ONE deserves something like this. To have it happen to someone I know and care about wounds me, as well. May God give grace in an amazing measure…Kathy

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    • It seems I’m getting the weird tests in the last year. First harsh comments from a contest judge last Spring, then the “Please Reject” and now this. But I’m OK. It does help to talk about it and be transparent. I’ve also talked about it with my writing mentor, and she had great comfort and perspective. I’m OK now. 🙂 Seems like 1-2 inches of snow is about all we’re getting. 🙂

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  2. Donna, I’m so sorry this had to happen to you! I really feel for you. I know the pain of rejection, too, & I wouldn’t have been able to “keep my act together” like you did. I’m a first rate “cryer”. Good for you that you did all the right things. Life isn’t always fair and your writing is just as good as any of the “famous” Christian writers of our day. Keep up the great self-development and I’ll be praying that other opportunities will come your way.

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    • Thanks Dorothy. God is good. Although I wouldn’t say I did everything right – God got an earful all night long even in silence. But I’m feeling pretty good. I’m being transparent where I would not have been before. Thanks again. 🙂

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  3. Pingback: Forgiveness is Key | Donna L.H. Smith

  4. Oh Donna, I’m so sorry this happened to you. You have been going through trials this year, but just remember two things: God walks through the trials with you, and We are usually made stronger for going through the trials. Keep writing!

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  5. Oh, Donna, what a challenge…and what a spirit you are showing. And more courage than I would. Hearing that lead-up and then the names called must have stolen your breath. A shock, to be sure.
    I, too, sat in an audience — one of 2 finalists in attendance — and the other guy won. Like you, I was up most of the night crying, doubting, even considering leaving the conf. in the morning. but by first light, god had gotten my attention and told me that not winning didn’t make me a loser. He followed that up with encouragement throughout the day — from some of those household names 🙂 –who remembered my name and congratulated me for being a finalist.
    We need tough skins in this business, yes? Keep up your good work and God bless you, sister.
    Mary Kay

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  6. Pingback: What You Liked | Donna L.H. Smith

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