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.