I’ll just put it out there right now – I’m a sucker for a good compliment. Though I have no problem working hard for the personal satisfaction of knowing I’ve done a job well, I also enjoy the occasional ego stroke. Tell me I did a great job planning a party or that my outfit is cute and I’ll probably ‘Aw Shucks’ it, but inside I’m beaming like a little puppy, basking in the glow of your praise.
With my writing, it’s a bit of a conundrum. Compliments – while nice, aren’t all that helpful. To improve her craft, a writer needs to suffer the slings and arrows of honest critiques, and worse – be ready to face rejection by agents, editors, reviewers, and even readers. I swallowed my first bitter Rejection Pill early this summer – and despite my best intentions to suck it up and keep going, the experience set my writing back for months. As you can see from my last post (way back in July – I’ve been MIA on the blogging front) – I was in poor spirits indeed.
In May, only a few weeks prior to the start of my summer slump (the rejection I mentioned came in early June), I had entered a writing contest. Now, nearly six months later – the results of that contest are in and I’m feeling better about myself and my writing and have dug out the ol’ horn and polished it up for some tooting.
I am happy, proud, and excited to announce that my paranormal romance manuscript took First Place in its category in the 2012 Molly Contest sponsored by the RWA Chapter Heart of Denver Romance Writers.
I received my winner’s notification via a phone call over a week ago, but now that the results are posted on the HODRW’s website, it feels more official. Also, since the call came while I was sitting in the car pool line with two four year old girls giggling and screaming in the backseat, I was worried I may have imagined the whole conversation. But nope – it was real, and I’ll even be getting a fancy plaque to prove it. (Picture to come, of course I’m going to post a picture! Toot-toot.)
I know that while it’s nice to win a contest and have my writing recognized as being pretty darn good, I still have a long road ahead of me. Breaking into publishing is hard, heart-breaking work. But I’m not going to lie – winning the Molly has recharged my batteries, given me a much-needed confidence boost, and revved my writing engine.