|photo credit: kristal lee romances|
Next year will not be that year. I'm not sure that any future year will be either. Now, I'm not dissing my work because I don't think it's good. Rather, I'm reassessing my dream. My real dream.
As it turns out, the Golden Heart isn't my dream. Publication is. That means my current and future efforts are focused on that single, simple goal.
I've never entered the Golden Heart contest, so I can't speak to its judging and selection process. I have, however, entered other contests and found the feedback confusing. What two judges raved about, a third judge hated. In my inexperience, I found myself always catering to the critic who tore everything apart because whatever issue they had, I wanted to fix. It took me a long time, and losing my voice, to realize the not all feedback is golden. Some of it is crap and should be flushed down the toilet, pronto!
My experiences with the contest circuit caused me to forget the only writer's rule that should never be broken: my story is my story and I'm the only one who can write it. My story is not in the heart of some nameless judge who may not have expertise in the paranormal genre or who may have less writing experience than I do. My story is in my heart, my soul, my imagination. It is mine and mine alone. I need to own it. From the first click of the keys tapping out, Chapter One, to the last words, The End. I must stay true to my creation as I envisioned it, otherwise it's no longer mine.
My intent here is not to poo-poo contests, or tarnish the Golden Heart. All the finalists and winners are hard workers and deserve their moment in the spotlight. I begrudge them not in the least. And I will clap and whoop and holler with the best of them to show my support. They earned it. They deserved it.
For me, the stress of preparing for a contest and then waiting, waiting, waiting for the results takes away time from my heart's desire to see my work professionally published. Since my writing time is very limited, I must engage in those activities that have more of a potential of getting me closer to my dream. I need to finish my current WIP. I need to start planning the next one. I need to revise and edit the one that's been fermenting for a month or two. I need to query. I need to write that synopsis even though it gives me the willies.
I've gained an understanding that I'm not dedicated to the contest circuit like a bull rider is to the rodeo.The Golden Heart will probably never be my brass ring. But to those who are reaching for it, I wish you all the best from the bottom of my heart and when you hear the shouts and cheers go out when you're name is called, know that I'm somewhere in the crowd hooting for you.
Reposted from NKotWB