Monday, July 31, 2006

Contest Finalist

Well, I’m feeling pretty good today. My entry in the PASIC Book of Your Heart contest is a finalist in the paranormal category. (The PASIC contest is either the only one or one of the very few for unpublished manuscripts open to published authors.)

Why did I enter a contest instead of submitting directly to publishers? One reason is that my agent retired a year or so ago and I haven’t gotten around to getting another one. What with moving and working on building my coaching practice and other work and the emotional fallout that’s inevitable with divorce, I wasn’t doing a lot of writing. In other words, life happened. That plus a gap in publishing due to a couple of years of LOTS of life happening, I had that inevitable bout of self-doubt that all writers go through.

If you’ve ever been to one of my workshops you know that I talk openly about that—the fact that all of us who are writers go through moments of self-doubt with every book we write.

I share that with fellow authors (and would-be authors) because I think it’s important to realize that feeling those doubts does not mean they are accurate. We may be really good writers—no matter how we feel!

The manuscript that finaled in this contest is one that has been so much fun to work on! If you’re a writer, then you know the joy of those moments when you surprise yourself and laugh out loud at what you’ve written. It’s been that way with this manuscript. I always fall in love with my characters and even so, these two (hero and heroine) feel special to me. As I’ve worked on this manuscript I’ve found myself thinking: I can’t wait to see what they say or do next!

It’s not that I hadn’t planned out the manuscript; it’s that this is one of those ones where the characters came alive almost at once and started writing their own dialogue and action. If you’re not a writer you’re thinking maybe the men in white coats should be coming for me. If you are a writer, you know exactly what I mean.

Anyway, I wanted to share with all of you my delight that the manuscript is a finalist in the PASIC Book of Your Heart contest.

April

4 comments:

Christine Keach said...

Congratulations! What wonderful news. And thanks for pointing out that those moments of self doubt are natural, even when they come with EVERY SINGLE MANUSCRIPT.

Anonymous said...

Congrats, April! Hope to see that book on the shelves soon!

And I also wanted to say thanks for making me feel normal about self-doubt... and reminding me that LIFE HAPPENS sometimes, so I shouldn't beat myself up when I get too overwhelmed with daily life to sit down and put pen to paper.

April said...

Christine,

Hey, pretty much every writer I know has moments of self-doubt with every manuscript. It's part of having a really good imagination--we can imagine all the things that could go wrong. One thing that can help is to harness that imagination and train ourselves to imagine the things that could go right.

April said...

Anonymous,

As I said to Christine, we all have self-doubts. Life also happens sometimes. Funny thing is that we can come back to writing more energized and ready to try new things.

Sometimes it helps to schedule writing and other things in short blocks of time and rotate through them.