Today I'm interrupting your regular scheduled programming for something near and dear to me. :-)
With Harlequin's So You Think You Can Write kicking off this week, I can't help but reflect back in time to last year's contest..back to the point in time when my life was about to take a dramatic turn. ;-)
At this time last year, I had two revised full manuscripts (a SYTYCW 2011 finalist & a HQ Romance Fast Track submission) under consideration with a HQ editor, but I was encouraged to enter SYTYCW 2012. I honestly didn't have any clue what was in store for me. I had a lot of hopes and dreams, but I'd had those for years so they were nothing new. :-)
Now almost a year later, my second release, SNOWBOUND WITH THE SOLDIER (a SYTYCW 2011 Top Five Finalist) about to hit store shelves and I'm writing book #4. I can't help but find myself looking back on that very special/pivotal time and thinking what if I hadn't taken the risk? What if I hadn't taken advantage of the options open to me? Would I still be sitting around hoping that one day my dream would come true?
Life is far too short not to take chances now and then. The following is a post I released last year and I think it's still mostly fitting. So if you are on the fence about entering SYTYCW and being a published author is your dream, maybe my experience can help you. ;-)
previously posted October 2, 2012 - from this previous contestant's experience....
I must admit that I’m not daring…well, unless it has to do with my family. When it comes to my loved ones, the mother bear in me can come out. But in general, I prefer to lurk in the background.
However, this past week has taught me an interesting lesson.
It all started when I took a very deep breath and pressed 'submit' on my entry for Harlequin's "So You Think You Can Write" Contest...for the second time (I was a finalist last year). Honestly, I had no idea what I was getting myself into as the format of the contest had changed considerably since last year.
I accepted that if I was going to enter that I would give it my best shot. So I dared myself to really put myself out there. Talking to new people. Talking to old friends. It’s been a bit scary and a lot nerve-wracking. It’s also zapped my concentration and sucked up my time. But in the end, it’s been amazing.
I love the new friends I’ve made. And I’ve reconnected with old friends.
I’ve also taken time to read a number of the entries and let me tell you, there’s a lot of talent out there. The editors definitely have their homework cut out for them. Too bad everyone couldn’t win.
So what did I learn this week?
That in order to be a writer in this day and age of technology, you have to put yourself out there and interact with your fellow writers and readers. And they aren’t scary at all. ;-) They like to talk about cooking, kitties, and all sorts of fun things.
And something that I already knew was reaffirmed—romance writers are GREAT!!!
They are the MOST supportive group I've ever met. Many of my writing friends have listened to me as the nerves settled in. They’ve been supportive, understanding and encouraging.
In a contest this BIG, it is unusual for everyone to get along. Yet everyone is so supportive of each other. And I haven’t heard one negative word. Honest.
Three cheers for the romance writers.
I’m so glad to be among them.
If you'd like to find out what all of the fuss is about, you can check it out here: