For those of you who don’t know much about the American Christian Fiction Writers, you can read about them here: http://www.acfw.com/about
This year I entered my completed manuscript in their Genesis Contest for unpublished Christian fiction. When I hit send on my application, my only thought was that I was entering the contest for the experience. I wanted to make myself consider my manuscript from a new perspective. I had always known that my first five pages were not my strongest so entering this contest forced me to re-examine that section. I felt good about the final product when I sent off the application – not confident, just pleased with what I had accomplished. At the time, it was not about placing in the finalists or even winning.
Today, the top ten finalists in each category were announced and I did not make the top ten in my category. When I read through the names this morning, I felt surprise for two reasons:
1) I had actually expected not to see my name.
2) Despite this, I was disappointed that I did not see my name.
How does that work? I mean, how can I expect not to place in the top ten and simultaneously feel disappointed by this (even though I expected it)? I’m still not sure that I’ve figured that out yet.
I decided to write this post, not to complain or worry or obsess over not placing in the top ten, but rather, to remind myself WHY I entered in the first place. It wasn’t about the end result. It was about making me approach my work from a different angle. So, moving forward, I’ve decided to firstly, read through the manuscript again with fresh eyes because I want to improve on my work and secondly, to start sending out queries. It’s time to get pro-active about this.
I’m no expert but I found Rachelle Gardner (Literary Agent, Books and Such Literary Agency) and her post on query letters to be very helpful.
You can find it here: http://www.rachellegardner.com/how-to-write-a-query-letter/
It’s time to shake off the disappointment and tackle things from a new angle.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
I have faith that God has a plan, even in this little disappointment. I know that He will build me up from this, according to His plan for my life, starting from the ground up.