Lucky me, I did not final in the TARA (Tampa Area Romance Authors) contest. I truly do mean lucky, because TARA returned judging critiques in time for me to use that feedback for the Catherine. (Wish I had it before the Sheila finalist entry submitted, but it's my bad not to think of those great judges' comments and questions.)
Is this a trait of all writers or just neurotic ones -- to >think< the manuscript is "as good as it can get"? Until someone else points out very good suggestions or holes or ways to improve the work. I so appreciate the judges in all of the contests I've entered, as all of the combined feedback has been so thoughtful. And all of those comments, looking at the manuscript from different angles, all of that has improved the work beyond anything I could have done on my own.
Don't know what the future holds with Hell to Pay, but I am certainly grateful for more opportunities than I have ever had to get this book to market. Maybe one day someone will even buy it….! (Yes, I know, that's just crazy talk.)
One of the hardest things to do is keep submitting entries, keep pushing. I just want to take a break. But there's a sense of "strike while the iron is hot" right now. Speaking of hot, Dante's Inferno will start going out for contests soon and I look forward to the judges' comments so I can make it a stronger novel. And I'm only midway through the second (and definitely not the last) revision of The Lesser Evil. I'm amazed how authors crank out multiple books per year or work on multiple series at the same time and maintain their sanity.
How do writers work in this industry and have a non-writing day job? How? I have rounds at 6:30 and 25 patients tomorrow starting at 7:30. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do (medicine AND writing). But it's now time to flip the right-brain/left-brain switches again so I don't kill a patient writing a prescription in iambic pentameter…. ("There once was a drug called Viagra, whose side effects reached out and grabbed ya…..")