Insecure Writer's Group, hosted by Alex Cavanaugh
This session couldn't have come at a better time for me. As many of you know, after four and a half years of developing my novel, I finally finished it. Although this was a major accomplishment, the one thing I didn't share was that I had less than two months to edit it. Why you ask? Well, because I wanted to enter it in the Amazon Break Out Novel Contest.
Throughout the writing process, each of my chapters had undergone at least ten edits. Between submitting them to members of my writer's group and online sites, like Critters and Scribophile, I had plenty of opportunities to correct errors. In fact, there were times I spent at least a month and a half on one chapter. I know this sounds crazy, but it made for less clean up at the end. The one thing I hadn't done was edit the novel in its entirety. Needless to say, I worked about sixty hours a week over the last month and a half, trying to get my MS. up to par.
By the end, I felt confident enough to submit the finished product. The problem is, at the last minute I learned that the first round of judging was based on the pitch. Guess I should have read the entry requirements a little closer, because I wound up scrambling around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to compose a pitch. Now, I'm insecure that the one I submitted is wrong.
At least that's the impression I got when I submitted it for critique on Scribophile. I received feedback like, "Epic, Wow! and This is something I'd like t read," but then was told it was too dense. Before you say it, I now realize that I should have submitted it for review before the contest, not after. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough time left to do this. I've since improved the pitch, (talk about locking the barn door after the horse got out) but now, I have to wait until March 18 to find out I was rejected. It's one thing to think you're a drop in a sea of writer's and a whole other to KNOW it.
To make matters worse, I also included the ABNA pitch in my application to the Algonkian Pitch Conference in NYC. By some miracle I was accepted. I'm still scratching my head wondering how that happened, LOL. But now, I'm nervous as a cat. This is where the rubber meets the road, reality check time. I'm insecure that I won't be good enough. Intellectually, I understand that rejection is part of the business, I even expect it, but I don't have to LIKE it. Also patience has never been one of my strengths. I hate the waiting game. Even though I'm 99.9-percent certain I didn't make it in the ABNA, that one-percent chance has left me biting my nails with anticipation.
The one thing that keeps me half way sane, is knowing there are others who have experienced the same insecurities as me. This said, I could really use some words of wisdom about now. Any and all pointers on how to handle the stress would be greatly appreciated. Until next time, my friends. Happy writing.