Friday, April 16, 2010

Good News, A Confession, and a Whole Lot of Cringing

Now this is going back a few years, but for awhile I served as one of four editors of a weekly horror newsletter for a large online writing community. During that time, there was one editorial I wrote that seemed to strike a chord with people.

It was an editorial about rejection, and in it I shared a rejection that I’d received for a short story submission. It was a particularly critical rejection, and I wanted to use it as a leaping-off point to talk not only about rejection in general, but also to talk about those more person--and sometimes brutal--rejections. And of the comments I received, the bulk were telling me how brave I was for sharing my rejection with the 10,000 readers of the newsletter.

Brave? I laughed at that.

Because here’s my confession. That was easy. Sharing my rejection I could do without a moment’s hesitation.

And the second part of that confession is that what I find, by far, more difficult is to share my successes.

I couldn’t explain it. I really don’t know why, exactly, that is. But it’s true. The minute I even contemplate sharing those good things, I find myself getting self-conscious and tongue-tied.

I’m getting a little better with the whole thing. Getting better, mind you, not feeling better about it. And that’s mostly because I know that it’s something I have to get over if I ever want to succeed as a writer, because one thing that’s been drilled into me is the fact that even after being published, authors are responsible for their own success and that, in large part, means self-promotion. And I’m determined to learn how to promote myself, how to build a platform, how to connect and network with readers and other writers.

And yes, I know this isn’t a new song I’m singing.

So tonight I wanted to both share a bit of good news and to ask for your help.

Yesterday night I found out that my novel, Heart of the City, has advanced to the next round of the finals in Dorchester’s Fresh Blood contest for unpublished horror novelists, so I’m now one of four finalists competing for the grand prize of a publishing contract with both Dorchester’s Leisure Horror imprint and a limited hardcover print run with Chizine Publications.

And I’m asking for your vote. Though I made it to the Top 5 based on the decision of a judging panel, from here on out the competition is completely vote-driven. Each month now, until the end, the contestant with the least amount of votes will be eliminated. So I would really, really appreciate your help.

The info for this round of the contest can be found at Chizine's website. Voting instructions are at the very bottom of the page.

And for those who want the quick how-to of how to send a vote…

You can email your vote to freshblood@chizinepub.com. In the email’s subject header please put: Fresh Blood Vote - Heart of the City. (Votes that come in this in the subject header won’t count!) One vote per unique email address is allowed.

Okay, I can stop cringing now. And you can rest assured that when I’ve suffered through a string of rejections--which ought to be any day now, lol--I’ll be broadcasting it proudly!

And I do want to say thank you to everyone who has supported me so far in this contest. It’s meant the world to me, and it never ceases to amaze me how wonderfully supportive our community of writers is.

I’m also wondering if I’m the only one who feels that way about sharing good writing news. Do you want to shout your good news from the rooftops? Or are you like me and want to just whisper it from a dark corner?

10 comments:

  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog :) I'm following you now. Going to take the weekend off from blogging, so I'll be back on Monday to check you out properly. Cheers! :)

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  2. Congratulations on getting to the next stage, you must be chuffed!

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  3. I totally agree with you. I have no problem with self aggrandizement among a select group of people, but outside of that group it feels... immodest. I just caught myself about to write a whole paragraph in response... I'll spare you that, lol.

    Congratulations on reaching the finals! I so totally just voted for you.

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  4. Lisa-this begging for help is absolutely the hardest thing we can do, and it is absolutely critical we do it, so you are TOTALLY right to call on us to help you out. And you know what... (do you hear the trumpets?) We're OFF! To make sure there are voters headed that way. I don't think you need to fall back on relatives and such--you just need a lot of fair minded people to find their way there and VOTE, because you've got a GREAT entry that can certainly hold its own.

    Good luck to you!

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  5. I understand how hard it is and I'll do my best to stop by and see if I can vote! I wish you luck!

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  6. Lisa, congratulations! Oh, do keep us posted - even if it's difficult to share your successes. Especially as a fledgling horror writer, I'm so stoked for you!! Voting now!

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  7. Just wanted to stop in and say thanks for taking the time to read and review my Amazon entry.

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  8. Awesome! I've already voted there in the past so I think I'm registered. I look forward to reading your entry.

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  9. Thank you all for your support. Besides the obvious perk -- the potential prize -- this contest has been a great experience for me because it's forcing me outside my comfort zone. So thank you for your votes and your encouragement. I'll be looking forward to repaying the favor.

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  10. And Travis, you're very welcome. It was my pleasure.

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