It's that time of year again. The time that I anxiously await contest results. The time I know I should be hearing from an editor about a partial I submitted earlier in the year. Yes, the mailbox beckons and repels simultaneously.
Last year, I was new to the game. I'd entered my first contest and submitted a partial manuscript the winter before. And I pulsated with excitement--not sure what to expect--but hoping against hope that all the news would be good.
I had yet to feel the sting of rejection. The contest? A way to get my work out there. None of it bothered me because I still lived in the elusive world where anything could happen.
Guess what? I received my first rejection on my wedding anniversary! And it wasn't a "good" rejection. It was a form rejection. A week later the contest results arrived and my chapter was deemed okay by two judges and a solid yuck by the third. Ouch.
Suddenly, my world felt askew. I no longer felt excited and upbeat. I doubted my ability. I doubted my self-worth as a writer. Fear paralyzed me.
I'm happy to say, I recovered. It took me an entire summer of delving into writing craft books, reading every online tip available, and having a massive neurotic conversation with myself on a daily basis, but I emerged stronger than ever.
And I discovered something deep down inside of me that I didn't know for sure until I had experienced failure. Writing is vital to me. Whether it takes me two more months or two more decades, I will continue to write books and submit them on a regular basis.
Why put myself through it? How can I not? It's what I love. It's my lifelong dream. I know I can learn to be a good writer, just like I learned to be a good cook when I could barely cook an egg years ago.
Join me on Friday for a look into the neurotic mind of Jill Kemerer on a doubting day.
Write Already! It's Wednesday!