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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Your entry's in the mail...

And now what?

I was originally going to write about GH-induced depression but I don't have the heart to cast gloom and doom on this amazing few weeks of discussion and camaraderie. So instead I'm going to fast-forward to when you hand in your bundle of joy to the post office or fedex, and with a lighter purse realize that's it. Your entry, the source of so much cutting and pasting, deliberation and stress, is now out of your hands.


First thing, do not read over your entry. I can guarantee you will find something so clunky it will make you tear your hair out and despair. Honestly, it's best not to know, and chances are the judges won't notice. (I have won contests where a page was missing and the hero's name changed. I don't recommend this approach, it just happened.)

Next, forget about it. For a moment. Do something fun. Has your behind been glued to a chair while you revise, nitpick, fiddle about? In that case, unless you are blessed with a wonderful metabolism, your butt will have assumed an identity all its own and you must take it out on a date.

In other words, reward yourself. Go to a movie, take a walk, meet up with friends--what do you like to do for fun? Do it. You have worked hard, and you need a break even if you have forgotten what that feels like.

If your GH ms. isn't already submitted somewhere, send it out, bearing in mind that if you call in a few months with the news that your ms. has finaled, it will go to the top of the slush pile. Then forget about it again. It's another completed manuscript. Start something else. Read. Critique. Keep working. Never give up, never surrender. And good luck.

What do you plan to do to celebrate your GH entry?


At 8:39 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

You're right, Janet. You can only stress so much. It's not life or death. Just get the entries in the mail and forgettaboutit. Just do the best you can do.

When is the deadline this year? I need to check that out...

At 8:56 AM, Blogger doglady said...

Can you tell I am up early this morning and still bouncing??? I am glad you posted this,Janet. I have that let down feeling almost every time I enter a contest. I have a friend who gets a stomach ache or a migraine as soon as she comes back from the post office. I have made the mistake of reading something after it has been mailed and that is a huge mistake. What will I do after I mail my GH entry? Have a nervous breakdown! I have earned it. I deserve it and nothing is going to deprive me of it!

At 9:41 AM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

Bottom line is, just finishing a book is an incredible achievement, one only a select few accomplish. Any venture into writing is an accomplishment!

At 10:15 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Doglady, are you saying you earned your nervous breakdown?! LOL If that's the case, then we won't stop you from enjoying your breakdown. ha! But really, after you have mailed your entry, enjoy the moment...the fact that you've written a book when so many people in the world want to, but have not.

At 12:03 PM, Blogger Jill Monroe said...

I have to second Janet's advice of NOT rereading your GH entry, because you WILL find something wrong. It just happens.

Celebrate - I always seemed to take a nap. Sad, but I looked forward to it, usually because I'd had several sleepless nights.

At 12:36 PM, Blogger Trish Milburn aka Tricia Mills said...

Great advice, Janet. I so know that writer's butt problem. In the past, I've celebrated by going out to do my Christmas shopping and pulling out the decorations. This year, I'm not eligible for the first time. While I'm thrilled to have sold, to not have the stress of getting an entry done, to not have to fork over the entry fees, it feels weird not to be entering. It's been a big part of my writing life the past few years.

At 12:50 PM, Blogger Charity said...

I *never* re-read after sending unless I intend to revise for some reason. Otherwise, that road leads to crazy. Good advice, Janet.

At 3:17 PM, Blogger Karen said...

I'm with Jill in that I took a nap after putting my GH entry in the mail. So many sleepless nights wondering if the entry was perfect, picturing each page in my head, thinking about my wonderful characters!

Doglady, have a glass of lovely wine, snuggle up with your one-and-only and BREATHE!

At 4:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to celebrate in true Margaret M fashion and start working on my next project...I'm already too, too good at treating myself.

Okay, maybe a chai latte at Starbucks. Extra chai.

Thanks again, noodlers! Your posts have made a world of difference in my entry!

At 6:07 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Good for you, Margaret. It took me way too long to start treating myself right. Enjoy the starbucks, extra chai! I think I'll go for the mocha with no whip.

At 4:17 PM, Anonymous Margaret B. said...

Once I've got my entry out the door, I'll probably sit wondering if I should have kept it for another week or so (hard to let those babies go), but I've already decided--next week is it!

At 6:51 PM, Blogger Ami said...

I'm a couple days late here but I know what I am going to do. :) I will have my moment of panic, like I always do when I hand over a ms, when I KNOW how awful it is, I missed pages, typos, you name it. Then I will get back in my car and feel 100 pounds lighter--so I'll go celebrate at Target.

Yay! Any excuse to go to Target!

Then it's on to the next project.

Ami W.

At 8:28 AM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

Ami, that's a good plan. I love Target!


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