Happy belated Valentines Day to you all. I hope you had the joy of sharing love with your favorite people or animals.
The last few weeks have been eye opening for me. I’ve been in a slump – which I think comes with the job. You know, a case of the “I’m a terrible, no good, awful writer” blues. Harumph.
Yesterday was the PNWA’s monthly meeting. Those of us who believe Valentines Day is a Hallmark holiday – or didn’t have a valentine – were there (all 9 of us), hearing some good advice on getting our submissions ready for the literary contest’s February 22nd deadline. This meeting was offered by Nathan Everett, the author of few different genres. I actually think this might have been the most informative contest prep meeting I’ve sat in on. Last month’s “Tackling the Monster: or, Writing a Synopsis” offered by historical romance writer Gerri Russell, was pretty amazing too. Good stuff.
Here’s the eye opening part. I’ve been sitting in on these kinds of workshops for a very long time. I don’t want to think about how long actually. And it was the very first time it occurred to me to make my submission be what I wanted it to be. Every year prior I’ve done a cut and paste of the first 27 pages, checked it for errors, and then sent it off. I didn’t stop to think about what the readers needed to read to make their minds up if they like my story or not.
So for the very first time I took a gander at my story and noted that if I can cut just one page of text, by sifting through the the piece I want to submit (first two chapters), that I can get the very best part to the readers – without cutting a scene! It was hard work too. Oh my goodness. But I’m ready for the final proofreading now. Sweat is pouring from my pits, as I sit here in my jammies. Heh, it’s 11:41 and I’m due to have lunch with the girls in minutes, yet my mouth hasn’t been visited by a toothbrush yet. Ewww.
Oh! And I got a wonderful rejection letter from an agent last week too, for Off Balance. She was detailed, and insightful. I’ve been rolling in her words for almost two weeks now, so warm and fuzzy I didn’t want to share them with anyone until now. She made my day, week, month.
And yet I had a case of the “I’m a terrible, no good, awful writer” blues. I think finishing the entries for the PNWA and Glimmer Train will be helpful. I’m always surprising myself that I’ve actually learned something.
Well, wish me luck! And luck to you all who are running like crazy to enter these contests as well!