In September, I took another leap of faith and submitted my historical fiction “magnum opus” (part one, anyway) to the Historical Novel Society Award contest. The long list of winners was supposed to be announced today. I haven’t seen anything on the website, but since I didn’t hear anything, I assume I am not on the list.
At the beginning of November, I had sort of set a goal for myself to finish revisions to my MS and start firing it off to agents and small publishers. I really couldn’t do anything until I heard (or didn’t hear) about the HNS Award long list, because you weren’t supposed to make changes to your submitted material while it was under consideration. But as this week crept along and I realized I probably wasn’t going to get an email telling me I made the long list of contestants, I decided I’d get my rear in gear and get those submissions out.
Well, it’s November 30th at 10:53 p.m. EST, and that hasn’t happened yet.
That’s not to say I’m not ready to do so. I am. It’s just that between all the stuff that happens in an elementary school in the month of November (report cards, parent conferences, etc.), I got a little bit behind. Throw in Thanksgiving, and it’s just a ridiculous month to try and get anything productive done.
Hence the reason I, yet again, decided to skip NaNoWriMo this year.
So I didn’t meet my submission goal in the least. But I promised myself I would send out at least two submissions this weekend. Only two, you ask? Well, I figure if I spread out my submissions, rather than sending out dozens at once, I’ll better be able to keep track of what I”m doing. Because I’m anal about this sort of stuff and have a spreadsheet that needs to be meticulously maintained.
I’ve submitted before. The magnum opus, in its awkward, melodramatic adolescence, was submitted to two different small presses when I was a freshman in college. Yep. Li’l old 19 year old me send that awful manuscript out into the big, bad world of publishing. Both obviously rejected the MS, but one sent me a personalized letter that pointed out both strengths and weaknesses in my work. It really is what ultimately made me realize I needed to completely rewrite the sucker. 12 years later, it’s almost ready to spread its wings.
Additionally, I have a couple short stories slated for revisions, which I plan to submit as well before Christmas.
I hope, anyway. Ultimately, you don’t know what your MS will do until you bite the bullet and send it out there. During the inevitable wait time following said submissions, however, I make no promises about retaining my sanity in this particular realm. There may be fretting and obsessing and wringing of hands, possibly some gnashing of teeth.
But that’s part of being a writer, isn’t it?