Thursday, May 27, 2010

My first blog is about rejection. Let's not make this a theme.

5/27 On the day I found out I was NOT a finalist in the RWA Golden Heart, I wrote my first blog entry. Today, over two months later, I am actually setting up my blog. Part of me says the moment has passed and I should just file this away with all the other snippets of writing I will never use... Then again, it's my blog and I post whatever I want. So I will point an angry finger at my common sense and yell "You're not the boss of me!" and decide to post a very late reaction to a rejection that happened two months ago. At least this little article may be relevant to many struggling writers.

3/25 I was not a finalist in the Golden Heart competition through RWA. I don’t know if I really expected that I would be, but I must have because my disappointment was palpable. My writing was really unfocused on 3/25 as I went back and forth between my Word doc and the RWA website watching the finalist’s names as they were updated. Eventually I called RWA and asked if they had made all of the notifications. Yes, they had. I had to get off the phone in the hurry because I was crying. My reaction surprised me. I mean, I’ve handled rejection after rejection with only mild frustration. But then again, the agents rejecting me hadn’t actually read anything of mine.

The RWA judges had had to read my first fifty-five pages – I paid them my entry fee to do it. Were they not interested in the rest of the story? Did no one find the characters compelling or the plot driving? I felt so defeated. Crushed. Whether it was a rational reaction or not is irrelevant – the fact is that it really hurt.

Still totally obsessing on the rejection, I started looking up the authors that did get a place in the finalists. Many have websites. Many have entered the same competitions I have entered. Most of them are looking for agents. All of them are in the same boat I am – they have books and they want to get them published. Being a finalist and potentially winning the Golden Heart award is huge for them. Woohoo! Look at me being a good sport. I’m the actress at the Oscars who does not win and is acting like they’re happy for the real winner so the camera doesn’t catch them being less than beautiful.

But in all honesty, I am happy for them. Of course, I still wish I was one of them, but hey – if they can get breaks, maybe I can too. And it doesn’t mean my book was bad, it just means their's were better. And I have no idea about the judging criteria. I get to see the scorecards eventually and then I’ll know what they were looking for. For now, I just have to keep on truckin’ and have faith in my story.

But boy, would it have been awesome to add that I was finalist in the Golden Heart competition to my query letter.


Raquel Byrnes said...

As a fellow rejectee of writing contests, I sympathize. Here is a great website full of rejections of now famous works to balm your wounds.

Unknown said...

Okay, I have successfully read your entire blog,in reverse order, in a matter of a few evenings. Now do I get to read the actual books in question?

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