Well. Much as I’d like to begin this entry with a huge WOO HOO and lots of smiley faces… I didn’t make the top 25 (28) of Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write. It was a top 25 as voted by the public with three wildcard entries as voted by the HQN editors.
Given I have a total of three Facebook friends who know me as Lily Malone, (which isn’t the name I entered the competition under) and given I don’t Twitter AND I am extremely shy about telling any friends that I’m trying to make that leap from ‘writer’ to ‘author’… I knew I was always hunting one of the Wildcards. I was never going to get anywhere when it came to the public vote.
I just read the best blog entry about SYTYCW. http://www.run-janie-run.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/so-you-think-you-can-write-then-shut-up.html and I’m filled with empathy and I guess sympathy, for the blog author, Janie Crouch. What she got up to in terms of getting votes makes for funny reading, but as I’m sure any of the co-dreamers who hoped for one of the spots in the top 28 will tell you – we were all there too, fingers (and toes) crossed along with Janie, voting for our own entries. Only I wasn’t so darn imaginative as Janie when it came to garnering other votes. Why didn’t I think of running down to the nearest Harvey Norman computer section and logging on to every computer terminal to vote for His Brand Of Beautiful! Gol-darn.
The hardest thing for me is the let-down, having not been picked. There is something so exciting about that beautiful vast unknown. Any writer who has a query out, a submission in, a contest as yet un-won, will know how much you both dread, and anticipate, hearing news about that story. It’s far more fun having something out in the ether and being on the roller-coaster I call ‘waiting to hear’ than not having any balls in the air (so to speak.) No matter how hard it sometimes gets to juggle that feeling of fear when there’s an email coming in, and the let down when it’s my husband’s golf partner making a golf date; or my weekly butcher specials from The Chop Shop – I’d still rather rush to the computer on the hour in case there is something.
And the best thing about SYTYCW for me? Well, perhaps because the only votes I engineered for myself were the three I got from my sister-in-law… I was truly thrilled when 7 people clicked they LIKED my entry; and one person – the lovely Jo Fereday from New Zealand – even tweeted that she liked it. YES – I have been the subject of a positive tweet. (Now that’s worth a WOO HOO in anyone’s little black book!) And Jo became my third Facebook friend, and one that I’m looking forward to get to know.
So to Janie Crouch and anyone else suffering withdrawal from SYTYCW I say, hang in there. Keep writing. Keep honing that craft and enjoy what you do. Write! just do it.