Friday, November 18, 2005
The Contest Roller Coaster
So here I am, the last to blog this week. Like Kira, I've watched the witty and philosophical posts of my playmates and thought to myself...I'm last. How am I possibly going to be able to post something THAT good? I guess, as Ms. Sabrah always says, "I can only write about what I know."
So what I know this week is that I've been riding the roller coaster of contest drama. Several months back, I received a call that I had finaled in the Smoky Mountain Romance Writers' "Sweet, Spicy, Spooky & Suspense" contest in the Spooky category. The winners were to be announced November 15th. At least, that's what they planned.
I've been on pins and needles ALL week! At first, I thought, no one called = I lost. All day Tuesday, nothing but a telemarketer. Sigh. I lost. Soul crushing depression that only another writer can understand. They didn't even call to tell me how badly I did. Never mind the fact that I FINALED. Never mind the fact that I already have a full request from Silhouette for this manuscript. They didn't call. My manuscript is crap.
By Wednesday afternoon, I emailed the contest coordinator in desperation. They hadn't announced who HAD won yet. Sensible playmates insisted that was a good sign - that perhaps they didn't have the scores in yet from all the judges. Of course, my negative brain argued with them. They didn't call because my manuscript is crap. Then the email from the coordinator - they didn't have all the scores in from the judges. "I told you so," they taunted.
So here I am, early Friday morning. No one has called, no winners posted to the website, no emails coming out from the contest divas. I tell myself to be patient - but the kid in me is dancing around screaming "I mailed this in JUNE! Please don't make me wait another day to find out!" To find out what? If my manuscript is crap.
Never let it be said that Smarty Pants is the optimist of the group. And honestly, I know better. I'm Smarty Pants - well educated and practical. I try not to get wrapped up in the emotion of rejection. I know that I shouldn't rely on external validation for my work. I know that some contest and the judges that determine who wins are not the final say on whether or not this MS will ever sell. That's what I say on the outside. That's what an experienced Maven will tell me. I say it is a hard lesson learned and one I still need to work on.
And yes, I know...regardless of how this contest turns out, I did final. I still have an editor to mail it to if I ever finish the silly thing to my satisfaction. But still, on the inside, the kid is jumping up and down waiting to hear if she's "done good."
Posted by Andrea Laurence AKA Smarty Pants at 11/18/2005 12:17:00 AM