... some years ago, the Lord "impressed" it upon me to refrain from the practice in the future. That was several books ago. I'd like to be able to say that God "invited" me to enter into an agreement with Him about this contest business, to negotiate it on a book-by-book basis--but the truth is that there was no "invitation" involved. It was a straight-out admonishment, no "ifs" or "ands." If I knew the reason or reasons for this, I'd probably not talk about them anyway--but the fact is that I don't know His reasons--nor do I need to know them.
I will admit that I'm aware of some of the benefits to come out of it--one big one being that it gave me an incredible sense of freedom. It allowed me to write without ever wondering if my work was "award material." It also made it wonderfully easy for me to cheer all my writer-friends and other contestants on, rejoicing with them when they won...without ever being tempted to wonder why my book didn't win.
Sounds like a pretty healthy perspective. Check out the whole column here. Find Ms. Hoff online at her official site, www.BJHoff.com.