Waiting for "The Call"

“Honey, it’s always crap. Every book I write is crap. It’s my job to fix the crap afterwards,” according to Nora Roberts. Well, I've got it half right. Still working on the "fixing it" part. "Trust your characters to be complex enough and to have enough emotional baggage. Force them to make hard choices." Advice from Michelle Styles that might help!

Waiting for the letter April 2, 2008

Filed under: Writing and Life — Autumn Macarthur @ 11:09 am
Tags: ,

instantseductionlogo4.jpg

So now the next wait. The winners of the Instant Seduction contest were announced early, on Good Friday. Heartfelt congratulations to the winners! The sheer hard work it is clear that they have put into their writing, and their determination to just keep on writing and trusting that they will make it in the end even when publication is a long time coming is impressive. Also disheartening for someone right at the start of their journey, seeing how long they had been writing and waiting for their own call- the overall contest winner was a RWA Golden Heart finalist in 2003. 2003! And still not published! Maybe my dream to be published (or at very least accepted for publication within two years) is impossible, insanely hubristic. Probably. Won’t stop me being mad enough to try.

I have to confess, that though secretly very disappointed about the results, more disappointed than I would ever let anyone know, I thank God I didn’t win. I had been putting myself under so much pressure to have the first draft finished and at leat partially edited by the end of March, when the contest results were originally going to be announced. No point winning a year with an editor on tap if I had nothing to work with her on. It would have just been a waste of her time and my time, too much too soon. It was very motivating though, just the hope of that happening, of needing to have something to show an editor, even though I knew it was a ridiculous dream. My word count on the story has plummetted since the announcement. It hasn’t stopped, I’m still steadily adding to it, but with the pressure off, I need another way to find motivation. My self-imposed deadline was unrealistic, but now I need to find another way to motivate myself. I work long days and come home exhausted, so sitting down with the laptop to write at 11pm isn’t always my first priority. But maybe to make it to publication, it needs to be.

So now I wait, with the rest of the non-winning entrants, in hope of getting one of the “encouraging letters” that Tessa Shapcott, the senior editor for the series said would be coming to the writers whose entries showed promise.  That would be motivation, it would be saying okay, you’re not there yet (I know that!), but you have got something, maybe, just maybe, one day you could get there.

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