Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A nice, healthy splash of cold water

Wow. Nathan's contest has been a real dose of reality for me. I guess I always intrinsically assumed that there were a lot of writers out there, but seeing it in real form was a bit of a shock. I read through many of the entries, and almost all of them were really good. Some were outstanding. I made me really think about the competition that I am facing.

And when I say competition, I mean to be published, not to win the dialogue contest. I've written that off long ago. In fact, I never actually thought I had a chance, I just wanted to give it a try for fun. Publication, on the other hand, will be a long, grueling march, but I plan to stick with it for the long haul.
It's hard not to get a little discouraged though, but I think that's okay sometimes. Better to know what you are facing, then to be blindsided in the actual moment.


Natalie said...

Just remember that there are different genres--some of those writers are not your direct competition. I hope that makes sense.

I was pretty overwhelmed at first as well, but then I realized that not everyone is writing the same thing. Not everyone will query the same agents I will.

You can do it, I thought your entry was great! I want to know more. I'll think we'll all be surprised at what Nathan picks, he usually has a very wide variety and some I would have never guessed.

Kiersten said...

Also, you've got to keep in mind that people who are posting on Nathan's site are people who are really devoted to writing. They spend the time, do the editing, figure out it.

From what I've read, most queries are terrible. So you are already leaps and bounds ahead of a majority of aspiring writers out there because you know what you are doing.

Also, I have a proposal for you girls. Have you ever heard of the BYU Writing for Young Readers conference? I went last year (just to the afternoon sessions) and it was SO FUN and inspiring (not to mention really informative). I can't make it this June, but should we make a tentative plan for next June? It would be even more fun if I had awesome writer friends with me ; )

Of course, you'll probably both have book deals by then...

Renee Collins said...

Natalie, you bring up a good point. Although, it seems like everyone and their dog is writing YA Fantasy. lol.

By the way, do you guys ever go onto Hatrack Writer's Workshop? It's a writer's forum online, started by Orson Scott Card. I have a link to it on my link list. It's kinda fun. There is a place where you can post your query and lots of people come on and offer advice. And they are pretty good. There's also places to ask questions about anything. It's fun, check it out. I'm on there as wrenbird.

Anyway, Kiersten, next June is perfect for me! We move from Ohio in a few months, and we're going to Utah (then Idaho, then back to Utah . . . it's complicated.)
But, seriously, that would be so fun. I've been wanting to attend a conference or workshop of some kind.

Natalie said...

Ooo, yeah I'm in! I didn't know about it, maybe I'll pop in this year! I'm still in the general area. That would be fun, I'd feel like a bonafied writer who actually went to a conference.

Oh and stay tuned for "Query Round Three"! After that I think I'm gonna put my head on the chopping block over at EE.

Kiersten said...

Good! I'll be there to support you.

And yeah, you should totally check it out. But sign up ASAP. It's nice because you can do the workshop, or just the afternoon sessions which are with the writers or the editors or agent. SO helpful! I didn't go to any of the writer ones, just the editors and agent. Also, they'll give you a freebie and let you send your manuscript to them for a year after the conference (at least they did last time!).

We'll totally plan on it for next year. Unless, like I said, you two are both legitimate by then. In which case I will be begging you to slip my manuscripts to your agents.

Natalie said...

Haha Kiersten, yes, let's hope one of us is Legit this time next year--but make sure to include yourself! You're the one who's finished editing and has a real query and all that good stuff.