What a lovely day. The sun is shining, birds are chirping. Sounds and feels like spring! Hard to believe we're supposed to get bad weather in the next few days.
So I thought I'd blog a little on something I basically have no experience, nor real knowledge of (yet).
Contests and pitfalls.
This week I will finally be breaking down, biting the bullet, and entering my very first. It's called SOON TO BE PUBLISHED and is for 'members only' of my local rwa chapter- the Outlaws, OKRWA. I have to believe in the name of this contest. 'soon to be' because it is my fondest and most desired dream to be a published author. To find my place among the ranks of all those glorious people who have already made that trophy step and succeeded. And the only way to accomplish this, is to put yourself out there. Throw your baby to the wolves and let come what may.
Last year I entered into an editor/agent pitch for the first time. I felt it went well. I received a request from the agent for a partial of the story I had pitched. It felt good on the heels of a rejection on another story that took nearly two years to get. I'd found myself in a writing block of self doubt that almost made me lose out on that fabu opportunity. And- in the end, in a way, that one rejection still kicked my butt. Why? Because, even though I'd gotten a request from that wonderful agent- I never sent my pages in. I chickened out. I felt, in the end, that my story was not good enough yet. So what happened? I put the story aside and haven't looked at it since, and have never finished it completely.
I guess (for me) you have to do that sometimes because it seemed to symbolize something I didn't want to acknowledge- failure.
Oh, I know I'm not... a failure, but I felt like it right then and passed on the chance to find out for sure if my 'baby' was good enough to put out there. I didn't write another for almost a year in fact. I thought about it, considered, with word page open, starting another, but in the end- I took what I feel now, looking back, a necessary break. I read books, blogs on the craft and refilled my dried up creative well.
What happened this time? I sat and wrote a complete manuscript in six weeks! Now, the thought of getting it edited and polished for submission is staring me in the face. Those long, torturous months of waiting... And I feel myself balking. I can feel the crows of doubt flapping their wings around me, telling me it won't fly, it'll get rejected so why bother? I refused to enter any contests with it even. My self imposed deadline to submit it is January 1, 2010. Will I make it?
In the mean time, I'm entering another one in a contest to bolster my waning confidence. I can't tell you how excited I am! Maybe because it's a local contest I feel safer. Like telling an embarrassing story with just close family around. It's a comfort zone. So, the real challenge will be if it wins and I take it to the next level. Will I have the guts and gumption to enter in in the Golden Heart (GH) contest next year? A world wide and REALLY OUT THERE contest?
Baby steps. I am entering a whole new realm of writing for me. I will force myself to get my work out there to be criticized and judged because, otherwise, how will I know if I'm good or bad (both fixable aspects), or just wasting everyone's time? I won't.
So- I enter a contest. For better or worse- I love the story I'm entering and have confidence in these two love struck characters that we will at least place in the contest. And, when this contest is over (it'll be a few months), I'll post an excerpt of my entry here for all to read and enjoy (and judge) if you want to!
Until then- happy contesting!