Thursday, February 24, 2011

Writing Woes

Brace yourselves. I have terrible news. I’ll warn you. You might want to sit down for this. *Amy takes a deep breath.* Here we go….
After weeks of waiting, Amazon finally posted the names of the writers and manuscripts that will be advancing to the next round of their Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition, and Saving Elizabeth wasn’t on it.
*gasp* I know!!!! *cue depressing music*
I think I’ve experienced every level of emotion one can when given such a situation. First, there was disbelief.
*Amy checks the list.* What? I’m not there! My name is not there! It has to be! Maybe they posted my real name, and not my pen name. *Amy checks the list again.* Okay, don’t panic. Maybe they accidentally placed the name out of order. *Amy scrolls down the list of 1000 alphabetically ordered names. Still…nothing.* Maybe they got my entry mixed up and posted my name on the wrong list. After all, there are two – one for young adult fiction, and one for adult general fiction. *Amy carefully scrolls down the second list. It isn’t there. Even though she knows it must be true, she can’t help but recheck the lists several more times throughout the day, hoping the judges will announce on the forums they’ve made a mistake, and accidentally left Saving Elizabeth off of the list.*
No such luck!
Next, there was doubt.
Maybe I’m a terrible writer. First the rejection letters, and now this! My work isn’t good enough to be published. What was I thinking? *Amy begins to mope.*
Then, there was nothing.
*Amy goes about her business* Maybe if I fill every possible moment of my day with teaching, my mind won’t wander to the self doubts.
Next, there was the desire to grab those bootstraps. (Unfortunately, I was wearing flip flops today so this took a little longer than it probably should have.)
You know what, Amy? This means nothing. One stranger does not determine your abilities as a writer. Maybe you need to reformat your pitch. Maybe you need to step away from this manuscript altogether for a while so you can come back to it later with fresh eyes.  Yes, that’s what you need to do. Just pick yourself up by the bootstraps and go on.
Finally, there was determination.
Start writing that new story, now! Saving Elizabeth was your first novel. In a way, you were just getting your feet wet…testing the waters so to speak. You’ve grown so much as a writer in the past year.  Get to work on this new manuscript so that when the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition rolls around next year, you’ll have something that they won’t be able to pass up. *Amy begins to scribble her new story ideas onto the back of a receipt she found floating in the bottom of her purse*
So, there you have it. I was on the biggest emotional roller coaster today that Amazon had to offer, and it was no fun. At times, I felt as if I needed a barf bag, but the end result was a more determined writer who was ready to get to work on the next chapter of her nonexistent writing career. Congratulations to those who made it to the next round. I wish all of you luck. :)


  1. Awww Amy...this post makes me sad! You are a wonderfiul writer and I know that one day you will be acknowledged for that! Keep your head up and keep on writing. I love you!