When do you give up?


Written on Saturday, November 22, 2008 by haleigh

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I'm entered into Golden Heart. I paid my fifty hard earned dollars (I chauffeured the local news anchor and his family to a wedding at the beach and back to earn the money - after listening to him, completely smashed, singing Kanye West's Soldier Boy at the top of his lungs the entire 45 minute drive home, I will never again be able to watch the news with a straight face. Every time he comes on, I want to shout Superman and do the arm wave.). Anyway, I earned the money, I entered the contest.

And in nine days, I have to overnight them my completed manuscript.

After working 16 hours days every day this week, I'm exhausted. I knew November was going to be a bad month, but I didn't quite expect this. I run a lecture series on my campus, and between my boss skipping town to spend 6 weeks in Kathmandu and me almost losing my job Monday because the stupid bitch in the TV office on campus decided she hates me, I'm ready for a break.

So I have today, tomorrow, and Thanksgiving break to frantically write, edit, and polish my manuscript.

That's not enough time.

So when do I decide to give up and try again next year? I know the first 55 pages are good, but the rest simply doesn't live up to the start. Do I send it in since I'm already entered, and hope I don't final, since the last 350 pages suck? Do I send it in, hope I do final, and hope an agent/editor sees enough potential that they don't write me off? Do I just forfeit my hard earned fifty bucks and wait for next year?

Anyone have any advice? Anyone else having the same panic I'm having? Anybody wanna swap those first all-important first 50 pages?

If you enjoyed this post Subscribe to our feed


  1. Jessica |

    Ooh, I think I can help you here!
    So yeah, I was doing the same thing as you. Then another writing friend who entered said that they only request the full so they have proof you've finished. She said a few years ago some people finaled but they lied and didn't have complete manuscripts, so it messed everything up.
    According to my writer friend (and I trust her sources) your whole manuscript is not judged. Just the partial. If you final and get a request, then you probably get to revise and stuff.
    So take a deep breath. I was frantically trying to revise but now, deep breath, I'm not.
    You might want to check, even by calling rwa's office, and ask them if the full is judged or just the partial.
    So anyhow, I'm SO glad I'm not competing against you!

  2. haleigh |

    Oh Jessie!!!!!!!!! If I could fall at your feet right now, I would. This is the BEST BEST BEST news ever. I'll call RWA tomorrow and double check, but if that's true, I can concentrate on the partial. The full is written, it just needs some small tweaks.

    Okay. Whew! I can take a deep breath now. Wow. This is such great news. Can you tell how happy I am??

  3. Pamela Clare |

    Panic is a normal feeling for authors, in my experience. So congrats on that. ;-)

    I say ignore your fear, work your butt off and send those pages in. If you don't take that leap, you'll never know how far you might have gone.

    Good luck, Haleigh! :-)

    P.S. Yeah, I probably write sappy epilogues. I just need to see them living their HEA. In my day job, I'm considered to be a hardcore feminist so who knows? And yes the subjectiveness of this industry — the role that chance and luck and variables over which the author has no control — is terrifying. So I just close my eyes and keep writing.

  4. haleigh |

    Pamela! You're so sweet - it's always great to get encouragement from someone who's "made it", and knows just how intimidating the publishing industry can be! You're right, I just have throw it out there. I feel like this shouldn't be nearly so scary a proposition as it is *g*

    And I didn't mean your epilogues! Yours work so well because while it might be a touch sappy, you're still *showing* it. There's the symbolism, like the picket fence for Julian or the truck for Marc that bring the whole thing full circle. It's the ones that just *tell* us - "oh look, they're so happy" that drive me nuts :)

  5. haleigh |

    Oh, and your statement of:
    I just close my eyes and keep writing

    I need to stick this up on my wall with other good writing quotes. Close my eyes and write. Excellent advice

  6. Jessica |

    That's the nice thing about typing. We can literally close our eyes.
    You could never do that with paper.
    So Haleigh, if I'm wrong about the GH, don't tell me.
    I mailed mine today. And feel pretty nervous.
    So are you sending the story with Shae?
    Woohoo! I liked that one ALOT!

  7. haleigh |

    You're not wrong Jessie - I called RWA and checked. If you make it to the final round, the partials are sent to the final round judges. They may request the full, but only the partial is judged. So it should still be complete and good, but it shouldn't make a difference in your scores.

    You sent yours in? Ohhh...I''l keep my fingers crossed for you! I'm sending in Cole and Shae's story. Let's hope the judges like it as much as you! :)

  8. Jessica |

    You know, I just saw your swapping question.
    I wish I would've done it. :-) Did you get yours sent in?

  9. Marnee Jo |

    Hal - no need to worry; your first 50 pages are great. You're going to do awesome, no need for panicking. :)

  10. haleigh |

    Jessie - yep! I got it in! *big relieved sigh* And don't worry - you've already read it :)

    Marn - thanks so much! And thanks for your help with changes on the beginning!


Post a Comment