1. Blessings really do sometimes come in disguise.
I was very bummed and disappointed about not making it to round three. However, I was determined to accept it without complaining, whining, or feeling sorry for myself. I think that this has really helped me move into a new level of maturity when it comes to my writing and accepting criticism.
2. Hard work pays off.
Since entering this contest, I have done more to promote my books than ever before and I’ve made 4 sales in the past month (which is more than I sold all last year combined!)
3. I’m not as bad at describing my books as I think.
Making it to round two was such a confidence booster for me. One of my hesitations to writing query letters and synopses has always been a lack of confidence when it comes to “explaining what my books are about.” When people ask me this question, I tend to go blank. I stammer out something about a princess and dragons and then change the subject. However, since the first round of judging was based solely on a 300 word description of what my book is about, and I made it through, I have suddenly become far more confident and have sent out my very first 2 queries in the week since getting the “bad” news.
4. Writing is fun.
Most importantly, entering this contest, “talking” on the discussion boards with other authors/writers, and getting feedback from strangers on my story has really reinvigorated my love of writing. It has lit a “fire” under me and given me the desire to edit and polish my manuscript until it shines (and is up to the standards of my most recent work: The Minstrel). I am excited about the prospect of finding an agent and subsequently a publisher. I am excited about editing. And most importantly, I am excited to continue writing new stories as they unfold from my mind onto the page. I have even started two whole new stories, as different from my Dragon’s Eye series as Star Wars is from the Wheel of Time.
So, thank you, ABNA, for all you’ve taught me. And thank you, Lord, for not letting me slide through this contest with ease. It’s way more fun this way.