Honorable Mention – My Voice

The Stroke of Midnight (SOM) contest hosted by Passionate Ink was the second contest I’d entered my work Shadow Cat. The first was the Breakthrough contest presented by Amazon, which I didn’t even make to the first round. 🙂 So, back to SOM. Yesterday was the big event—the evening Passionate Ink held their big party and announced the winners of the SOM contest. I didn’t make it down to the party; my pocketbook said no. Okay, maybe it was more on the lines of “Are you freakin’ crazy? Do you know how much a trip down there would cost? We have bills to pay! You’re a starving writer, remember?” And people wonder why I leave my purse at home most of the time.

Anyway, the results are in! I didn’t place but received an honorable mention. Bummed was a good name for what I felt. Then I hit the ‘at least’ stage.

  • At least I made it to the finalist round.
  • At least I got feedback from judges and will get feedback from an editor (Chris Keesler – Dorchester Publishing)

Then I added some ‘not bad considering’ comments for good measure. Gotta keep the ego happy, you know.

  • Not bad considering I’ve only been writing for about a year.
  • Not bad considering this was my very first complete work.
  • Not bad considering I was up against more experienced writer; some who’ve even been published in other romance genres.
  • Not bad considering Shadow Cat was not as polished when I submitted it in April (my 9th month writing) as it is now.

Then I let reality soak back in. Maybe Shadow Cat just wasn’t that great. After all, it’s received tons of rejections. Of course I’ve also received a few rejections which said with a little work, I could resubmit for reconsideration.

I love Shadow Cat and the sequels I’ve started for it. And by no means have I given up my dream to see them in print or ePrint. I have learned through this contest I still have a lot of writing experience to obtain. I’m okay with that. As I told my husband after I picked myself up, “That’s okay. Cause my current WIP is so much better!” And it is.

After much reading, I see how other writers add their voice to their works. Sometime along the lines, I think my voice got stifled by rules and the likes/dislikes of critters. I’ve rediscovered my voice. I’ve tried to put it in my draft of Shadow Cat during rewriting and editing, but it’s hard to reinvent what’s already on paper sometimes. It’s so much easier starting fresh.

Anyway! Here’s to not giving up!

How did you find your voice? How do you prevent it from being stifled?