My novel has placed as a finalist in the PNWA literary contest.
Sorry, that deserved a paragraph of its own. No sharing for that sentence.
I’ve spent the time since I got the call oscillating between unreasoning joy/overwhelmed by emotion to the point of tears, and petrified with fear. When I decided to come back to writing, my first love, eight months ago I thought that choice was the most nerve wracking decision I’d ever make. Because trying again meant opening my soul to the world and begging for rejection.
Because as everyone is so wont to tell you, “It’s impossible to get published.”
Well, I’ve worked my tail off for the past eight months. My novel has gone through three full revisions and been ripped apart by crit partners who I sometimes swear are out for blood. I’ve been reading books on writing and publishing, reviewing books and teaching myself punctuation rules that make no sense what-so-ever. And from my vantage point now, publication isn’t impossible.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, but the current situation is killing my nerves in ways my previous one did not. Suddenly, I have a possible shot…but it’s out of my hands. No amount of editing or improving my draft is going to change what those judges see. The entire process is moving without me. Even if I sat back and didn’t touch my draft…nothing about that entry would change (it would make a difference if I get lucky enough to have an agent want to look at my full novel.)
I’m a control freak. Not over everything but my sanity requires either to have no stake and no say in things or the first, middle and final decision. My lack of ability to choose a restaurant, or once we’re there choose a meal drives my hubby crazy. But the fact I won’t let him touch the TV remote seems to disturb him more (MINE.) I have way more at stake in my novel than in any TV show.
Judges have my precious (does every writer feel about their work like Gollum felt about that ring? Or is it just me?) and I get to wait a month to know if I get the amazing honor of putting PNWA finalist in my query or (dare I say it?) the earthshattering ability to type winner. Do I think that’s likely? No. It’s a one in eight chance though… which is better odds than I faced in the first round.
And… Thank God I found my perfect songs to repeat or I might literally go crazy. Simon & Garfunkel are sanity savers. With my headphones on, I can sit back and just smile, drink some coffee and enjoy the moment for itself.