The wait is over. After three long months, the ten semifinalists, out of 102 entrants, for the Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest were announced; the list did not include my name and the title of my novel.
Rejection #1. I can start the official count.
I’m disappointed, but not as much as I thought I’d be. I’m familiar with this process. I once responded to the psychological projective questions of—”I am___, People are___, Life is____,” with “Life is an audition.” I have what seems like a life-long history of competitions and auditions—waiting for results. Now I wait for the critique and the score on my novel. Then I revise again.
In the meantime, I get busy. Since I now know the OFN isn’t the door I’ll go through at the moment, I keep preparing—developing my platform (social media), identifying agents for the query phase, trying not to fall off the path.
Rejection can do one of two things—discourage me and get me to quit, or galvanize me to action and improvement. I choose the latter. I remember the first time I was videotaped in preparation for a speech contest in high school and really saw my performance. I learned to welcome critical feedback and use it.
Rejection never feels good. But it doesn’t feel quite so bad when you trust the source of the rejection. The CWG is committed to helping writers do their best.
So, congratulations to the ten semifinalists. I know they worked incredibly hard to get where they are and that they’re obediently using the gift of writing the Lord gave them.