It’s been a while since I’ve done a Freestyle Friday, and today felt like a great day to do one. The sun is shining (and hot), I’m off work, and I just received word on a contest entry (and it was a rejection/pass/other words for no thank you).I was going to wait until later in the day to check my email, but I’m glad I got it out of the way. Now that I know what’s going on there, I can go on with my day off. I follow the message thread for the contest and have seen the yays and nays rolling in all morning. I posted my first page on my writing blog here and invited others to do the same and share the links. I didn’t get any feedback in my email and wanted to get some on my page, and I figured others would like to do the same.
One thing I’m making sure not to do, though, is go into reading pages and giving feedback with a mind to compare. Competition brings out the desire to compare like nothing else. Every time I watch Four Weddings I notice how the other brides size each other up and tear each other’s weddings down. I can’t imagine having anyone at my wedding whose main objective was to critique my every choice and make themselves feel better or worse based on the wedding I throw. But back to this writing competition.
I know how raw and open a rejection leaves me feeling (I’m three for three in the rejections game now). The last thing I want to do is read what others have written and start comparing. There’s no future in it. Either I’ll think mine is better and wonder why they got picked and I didn’t or I’ll think I could never write something that measured up. None of those are constructive. We each have our own voice. Editors pick and choose stories based on several factors, some of which have nothing to do with the quality of your writing. Maybe your story doesn’t fit their line or they have something very similar coming out soon. Maybe they would love it if they had more than the first page.
I’m also trying to keep my growing cache of rejections in perspective. I’m not use to being unsuccessful, especially when it comes to writing. It’s hard not to take rejections personally–I mean, I wrote it; that’s kind of personal. I know that the rejections don’t necessarily mean that there is anything wrong with my writing, but it does call into question my abilities to write for this publisher, to write in this genre, to be successful in this market. Yes, friends, the doubt crows are circling.
The rest of my life is as uneventful as my inactivity on this blog suggests. My five year anniversary at the day job is this Sunday. My relationship is pretty much the same and in the same place. I’m still planning to self-publish my Christian non-fiction book for teenage and young adult women. I talked to a graphic designer about designing a cover and formatting the book for me. I’m still looking into a proofreader for the project. I’ve been editing through the book and am amazed all over again at the things God wrote through me in this book. Prayerfully, soon I will be able to do a title and cover reveal for you guys and set a release date. Thanks to everyone who has supported me in the writing of this book. It’s almost here!!