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SYTYCW: Adding Sugar

            It became clear to me a few days ago that I didn’t make the cut in Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest, but I wanted to wait until the judging period was officially over before commenting about it.

            Anyone who wants to make a living as a writer must learn to live with rejection, develop a thick skin, be prepared to rebound, and have a day job. There are thousands of deserving writers out there; I know some of the top 28 finalists, and they’re both good writers and good people. Congratulations to them, and I wish them the best of luck as they go on to the next round.

            There is also, of course, the fact that this sucks.

            We all want to win – not necessarily to beat other people, but to succeed. Like many writers I want to someday write full time, and doing that requires people paying for your writing. That requires getting the interest of a publisher, or winning contests, or self-publishing and selling, or in the worst case scenario being a b-list celebrity. No matter how deserving the winners are, I wouldn’t have entered if I hadn’t wanted to be one of them. Recognizing that writers get rejected doesn’t make the rejection hurt less.

            But that’s okay, because suck happens and people need to deal with it. One of the real problems with this world is that people don’t want to face suckage. Face it, people.

            Face it, then conquer it. I didn’t win SYTYCW, but I have a completed, polished manuscript ready to go to its next destination. I have some deciding to do: My next target was Harlequin American, but my understanding is that Harlequin’s editors were all involved in the contest, so it can be assumed American’s editors have already seen it. Would it be a waste to send it to them the regular way? I’ll have to think on it.

            But think on it I will. Then I’ll take action, and send Coming Attractions out the way I did Storm Chaser, and the way I will many future manuscripts. Someday I’ll get The Call again, and a year or so after that you’ll be ordering your autographed copies, and giving it five stars on Amazon.

            Because when life sucks lemons, you scoop in a few spoonfuls of sugar and make friggin’ lemonade, people. And lemonade’s good stuff.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 19th, 2012 04:25 pm (UTC)
Aww - I'm so sorry (I voted for you!).
Oct. 20th, 2012 05:12 am (UTC)
And it's much appreciated! We'll get 'em next time.
Oct. 19th, 2012 04:44 pm (UTC)
It struck me, as I went and voted for you, that it was not a writing contest anyway - it was a popularity contest.

Which is not to say that you are not popular - just that some other people presumably had everyone in their company voting for them, or have thousands of followers on Twitter, or whatever. And the winner will not be someone who writes well - it will be the person who wrangled enough people to go and vote regularly for them.
Oct. 20th, 2012 05:14 am (UTC)
Yes, I thought exactly the same thing -- and not only do I tend to be antisocial by nature, but I really hate wrangling people to do things for me. I'd much rather be in a contest that's all about writing talent, whether I win it or not.

I'm not sure anyone where I work was even aware of this at all; I tend to compartmentalize, and don't like to mix areas of my life together.
Oct. 19th, 2012 05:14 pm (UTC)
Rejection definitely sucks, but go you for looking at the silver lining, and good luck finding a home for your story!
Oct. 20th, 2012 05:46 am (UTC)
Thanks -- I'll find one eventually!
Oct. 19th, 2012 05:16 pm (UTC)
A good attitude

And the only one for a writer!
Oct. 20th, 2012 05:50 am (UTC)
The only one a writer can have, if they expect to make it!
Oct. 19th, 2012 05:23 pm (UTC)
I don't think letting the public vote for who's novel gets published is right in the first place. Although, I did vote every 24 hours. People are stupid for the most part and just because they like something doesn't make it good. Look at Twilight.
Oct. 20th, 2012 05:51 am (UTC)
A very good point, and I appreciate it -- I just decided to play the cards I was dealt, in this case. At least I can say several editors saw the manuscript, so who knows where that will lead?
Oct. 19th, 2012 05:58 pm (UTC)
There are other "romance books" houses/stables to submit it to...but I think since the judges for this contest looked mostly UK, so sending it to the US version as part of a group you submit it to would be a good idea.
**sends bourbon for your lemonade**
Oct. 20th, 2012 05:52 am (UTC)
ah, bourbon! I needed that -- my sinus infection is back. Don't worry, there are many places yet for me to try placing my book!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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