A Wobbly Moment

To all those lovely people who have offered advice and support over the past week or so, thank you so much. You’ve made me feel hugely better about this waiting game that I’m playing. For someone who absolutely loathes waiting and who is naturally impatient, this has been a real lesson and I’m just so grateful to have understanding ears to pour all of my whines into. 🙂

So, I’m feeling much better about waiting on Anna to get back to me, although I had a wobbly moment on Saturday when I found out I didn’t final in a contest I had high hopes of. It’s funny how the fact of not finalling suddenly made me doubt my writing and doubt the stories I had entered. Maybe they were boring? Maybe I’m not as good as I think I am? Maybe I was arrogant in thinking I would final in the first place? Sigh. Whatever, it’s a good lesson in humility and just goes to show that even when you think you’re doing quite well, there will always be people who don’t agree.
It actually got me thinking that that it won’t be any easier if I’m published. You’ll always be worrying about whether the editor likes your next book, whether anyone will buy it, whether they’ll like it, and if they don’t like it, how to cope with bad reviews. Scary stuff. Obviously I need to start growing a thicker skin.
That wasn’t a blatant play for sympathy, by the way, merely a little sulk. I’m over it now – retail therapy courtesy of Great Uncle Visa certainly helped, as did large amounts of chocolate. 🙂

Speaking of contests, I just wanted to say a big woohoo to Rach! She finalled in the Valerie Parv and the Great Beginnings contest! That girl’s got talent and if she doesn’t sell soon, I’ll eat my cotton socks. WTG, Rach.

Oh, and you know I mentioned I computer game I bought for my birthday? Well, it’s called The Sims 3 and it’s kind of like a real life simulator. You manage the lives of virtual people. The reason I’m telling you this is that in the game, you can make your little people become writers and make money by selling books. And do you know which books make the most money in the game? Romance books!! If only that were as easy in real life… 😉

10 thoughts on “A Wobbly Moment”

  1. Sulk all you want. We are all human and we ALL have moments of weakness. Hey, you have witnessed my sulks on a weekly basis when I can’t make up my mind on which ms to work on (change my mind again BTW).

    Re the contest – one way of looking at it is subjective to the judges opinion, and yes, the same can be said for editors, but you need to have enough faith in yourself that your work is good enough to carry you through, and FWIW, I think it IS. Hang in there – you’ll make it, I know you will.

    PS – totally agre with you re Rach. That chickie is a legend.

  2. Janette, you’re right. Sometimes sulking is mandatory. As long as you come out of it I guess. 🙂 Hey, maybe you should just work on both mss.

    Yeah, contests are pretty subjective. Thanks for your faith re my work too! I sometimes have it and sometimes not. At the moment I don’t. No doubt that’ll change tomorrow though. 🙂

  3. Jackie —
    Finalling in a contest does not mean that you will get published. Look at the Golden Heart finalists and winners — they do not all pick up a contract. I know of lots of people who have done poorly in contests with a particular ms and yet have gone to sell that ms.

    And YOUR editor sees enough promise in your work to email and ask for revisions. It means she thinks you will be publishable one day.

    So bash those Crow of Doubt!!!!

  4. Geez thanks for such kind words Jackie… but Michelle’s right, unfortunately finalling in a contest doesn’t mean you’ll be seeing my book on the shelves any time soon 🙁

    I have had lovely boosts in my writing this week with two contest finals, but I’ve had plenty of times when I’ve entered contests and like you have been dissapointed a the result.

    Eg. I entered the mss that came runner-up (joint with you and the dear Felicity of course) in the Feel The Heat contest in the RWA Emerald Award and didn’t even make it to the second round(in this contest, you sub the partial and those who make it to the second round – top 15 – sub the full). This was bitterly disappointed but it really does show the subjective nature of contests.

    There are plenty of people who’ve done well in contests and gone on to sell… but plenty others still playing the waiting game. I’m not counting my chickens… especially after the last two days of absolute crud I’ve written!

  5. Jax – it’s not just contests that are so subjective.

    In the meantime, get working on that thicker skin – because even when you’re multi-published you’re still going to have to face those hundreds of anonymous critics who are now able to post reviews of books on the web for all to see.

    Learn what you can from the bad reviews then forget them. Take heart from the good ones – there will be many!

  6. I’m glad you’re feeling a bit better about the waiting, Jackie. Forget the contest result, it’s always nice to final (I imagine) but you already have an editor interested in your work so you’re way ahead of most of us.

    Would love to try Sims3, but would have to do battle with the 12-year-old to get anywhere near it. Perhaps when she’s at school…

    Keep thinking positive. It’s only a matter of time.

    🙂

  7. Michelle, thanks for that. Yes, contests are great – after all, the FTH one got me noticed – but they do seem to be so subjective. Ah well, as you say, I have an editor that’s interested and that’s the main thing. Consider the crows bashed (for now). 😉

    Gosh, Rach, I didn’t realise that about your FTH entry. Wow, it’s really random eh? You’ll sell though. Don’t worry, you will.

    Romy, I’m worrying about those thousands of critics already! 🙂 However, I shall cross that bridge when/if I come to it. No point counting chickens at this stage. Or mixing metaphors. 🙂

    Thanks Suzanne. Yep, you should definitely plan a PC takeover. I’ve got one of my Sims already on the road to romance author stardom!

  8. Sulk away when you need i reckon!
    I had a similar week with my Emmy finalling entry not finalling in another contest. Just shows how hit and miss it can all be.

    From generous judges in one contest to hitting one that just doesn’t like your premise or style or one that just marks harder, it’s all luck to some degree.
    I think we all need to take on board the good stuff, see if any of the less positive comments are valid and then move on.

    Ultimately ‘all’ we need to do is impress some editors and you’re well on your way with that part!

  9. You’re right, Becca. That’s the way to view contests. Expect nothing, take the feedback that feels right for the story, then move on. Intellectually I know this but sometimes the emotions take a while to catch up. 🙂
    Anyway, I’ve had my sulk and am much better.

  10. Glad you’re feeling a little better about it now. Like Michelle says, you’ve already caught the eye of an editor and that’s got to tell you something 🙂

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