So this week I:
1. Was chosen to be my belly-dance instructor's flower girl at our recital during the thank-the-teacher portion of the program.
2. Got a promotion at work.*
3. Earned the top score during a game at a shooter training course. (Why yes, I do have wildly disparate interests. Thanks for noticing.)
And then my luck ran out. I had entered my manuscript in a contest sponsored by literary agent Janet Reid and knew the finalists would be announced this weekend. Not all have been announced, but they have each received a list of questions to respond to. I'd hoped to find something in my inbox tucked between the Kohl's coupons and forwards of adorable animals, but alas, nothing.
She tells us the judges had an extremely hard time choosing manuscripts. I'm among the remaining 400 or so entrants who are now sad-faced, and possibly like me pondering what exactly caused my work to be set aside. Something major? Minor? Arbitrary? Obvious? Did I make it to the final 16? 38? 91? How close did I get? Or a better question: How much farther do I need to go?
I've been watching her blog posts and learned a few things for submitting to agents/contests in the future, including that my page numbers were in the wrong place (mine were in the upper right, but they should be in the lower right. These issues were not disqualifiers to the contest, but noted for our benefit). At first I thought, really? We're worrying about things like that? But when most agents get bombarded by crap on a daily basis, you've got to stand out (in a good way). Point driven home when I got to be the one going through freelancers' resumes and encountered gems such as "Other than studying other people's work, I have very little experience as a writer/reporter." Okay. You're right. I see.
So. Fix it. Embrace the disappointment. Go do some dishes. Wrap a birthday gift. Come back to your desk, sit down and keep writing. Write some more. Are you writing? Yes, yes, yes.
Turns each day into a win.
*When I say "promotion" I mean extra title, more responsibility and no additional pay. So possibly this should not have been included on my list.