Last week I participated in a blog tour--a virtual visiting on other folks' websites. Some of you may have read my post.
In my comments, I mentioned that I was entering a writing contest. It was in three stages: Stage 1 - submit the first page of the manuscript. Stage 2 - if the first page was sufficiently intriguing, then the writer would be asked to submit the first three chapters. Stage 3 - if the first 3 chapters showed promise, then the whole manuscript would be requested.
My first page didn't earn me a pass to Stage 2, so that was the end of the contest for me. But I didn't lose heart. True, it wasn't what they wanted; however, they didn't send me a nasty rejection email, just a simple statement that it wasn't what they were looking for and if I had another manuscript I'd like to submit to that line, I could do so in the regular way, through their website.
In a strange way, not getting to Stage 2 was a relief. I'm still writing the story whose first page I submitted. I have four fleshed-out chapters that I like so far. And I intend to finish the book.
What I learned was this: not advancing in the contest was okay. It might be considered the down-side of contest entries; but in another way, it allowed me to participate, learn that what I like to write isn't going to fly with that publisher's line, and now I'm free to write what I believe is the story I'm supposed to tell.
Some Life Lessons aren't easy or pleasant to learn. This one was much more positive.
Another Plus: Having a story to work on does wonders for my summer blahs. While I'm writing about characters dealing with their problems and wondering if they're doing the right thing, I'm off in some kind of other-world. Today's humidity, thunderstorms, and wind don't enter into it. I sometimes finish a chapter, get up and walk around, and am surprised to find the air has cleared, the sun is out, and people who live in my neighborhood are home from work.
Could this down-side business be another way of looking for hidden blessings? I like to think so.