(WOW! It's been nearly a MONTH since I posted. Double wow. HI EVERYONE. I'M HERE!)
First up, I've noticed a lot of spam-ey comments. And I'm all for freedom of speech, but I'm tired of spam-ey things. So I've turned on the word verification for a little while because I think spammers think I'm an easy target. Sorry if it's a little annoying!
So a while ago I think I mentioned a competition for 13-17 year olds. The prize was a £2000 advance and a chance to be published in e-book format by Random House.
I didn't enter. (Let's analyze me! I have a fear of faliure! I'm a perfectionist!)
Recently I read this post on Teens Can Write, Too! It's all about being published as a teen writer. And it said something which got to me:
"Age does not matter."
Publishing isn't a race.
It would be silly to try and make it one because.... well... everything happens so slowly in publishing anyway.
So how does this relate to me not entering that competition? Well, someone I know also entered, and when I questioned the terms and conditions of the competition, she said "I don't care. I just want to be published."
And I realized my goal is not "to just get published."
It would be GREAT, sure. I would LOVE to be published right now. But I was staring at my manuscript and I thought to myself "WHAT IF I WON?" (I hope this doesn't sound big-headed. But I figure that if you enter a competition, you have to believe you're in for a chance of winning.) And as I was contemplating winning, I had this sinking feeling. The winners are announced in July. The writer has two weeks to make edits. The book is published in e-book format in July.
My book, the way it is now, is not at its best. I'm proud of the beginning. I'm okay about the middle. The end is a little suckey.
So my goal is to one day be published, and for me to be PROUD of what I'd published.
If I'd have sent my novel in, and if I'd have been so lucky as to have won... I wouldn't be proud of it the way it is now. It can still get better.
There will be other competitions. There's always something more. I've spent so long on this book, and to rush to get it published doesn't feel right.
And if I actually passed up the only opportunity this book will ever have to be published?
I would cry. A lot. And eat a lot of chocolate and cheese (not together because ew.) But I'd rather be unpublished than be published with something I know could have been better.
What do you guys think? Did I make the right choice? (I once saw a comment from someone saying that at 17 they passed up the chance to sign with an agent because they weren't ready. I always thought AGENT! WHY WOULD ANYONE DO THAT? But I think I sort of get it.)