Dealing with Writing Disappointments & Epiphanies

cya-alligator-206x265 As writers, we all have felt the pain and struggle of Rejection! Early this morning I wrote a ‘practice’ Blog to celebrate JOSH AND THE IT‘s short listing in the CYA Conference  writing competition for emerging writers. All my hopes and dreams were pinned on those results.  If I won, my story would be published! … But it wasn’t meant to be!

When the CYA coordinators announced the shortlisted winners, I scurried over to their website searching through the book titles unable to find JOSH’s name.

I panicked. I scanned through the list again. Not there! I was in a state of shock! I had convinced myself JOSH AND THE IT, Book 1 of the Super Space Kids series would be shortlisted after receiving so many incredible reviews.

Tears of disappointment, streamed down my cheeks. I wanted to crawl into a hole. Then I raced upstairs with all my pent up energy and cleaned the house till it gleamed. Afterwards I gobbled down a Turkish Delight ice-cream and wrote this Blog. Writing has always given me a release.

I concentrated on an unsolved question that had niggled me …Why were the reviews of JOSH VS LORD TERRA, Book 2 stronger than JOSH AND THE IT? A 15/10 score compared to a 10/10.

My Epiphany
Yesterday I received an epiphany as I watched SCI FI movie Cowboys & Aliens on the big screen. I kept asking myself why do I LOVE this movie so much? … Why? … Was it the plot? The themes? … The very high stakes?
Throughout the movie and for hours afterwards, images and ideas on how to raise the stakes HIGHER in JOSH AND THE IT invaded my mind and wouldn’t let go.

How will I  Change JOSH AND THE IT?
•    Compare Book 2 to Book 1. Which ingredients caused Book 2 to receive phenomenal reviews? How can I translate that ENERGY into Book 1?

•    Raise the stakes higher. Make the reader care MORE about JOSH and the Space Kids

•    Turn JOSH into a reluctant anti-hero character like I did in Book 2.

•    Add MORE gripping hooks from the very beginning. And keep raising the stakes.

Strangely, early this morning BEFORE the CYA results came out I started rewriting JOSH AND THE IT. My sub-conscious knew the competition results before me!

But I’m still Celebrating!
Congratulations  to all the short-listed  books and winners. My dear friend Renee Taprell and I made a pact that whoever discovered the CYA results first, would tell the other. I’m pleased to announce Renee was shortlisted for her picture book in the Primary school division for Mishy Mashy Mush … I wish Renee all the best in the finals announced on the 10th September.

For me?
With renewed energy, I’m adding EXTRA scenes and hooks to JOSH AND THE IT and I plan to send my AMPED version over to the publisher who originally requested my manuscript.  Luckily I’m still under consideration! I’m so grateful to be given another chance. I type these words with tears in my eyes.

Please Universe, guide my ADDITIONS and help me re-create JOSH AND THE IT, to be the very best it can be.

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18 comments to Dealing with Writing Disappointments & Epiphanies

  • Gina

    I’ve read your very personal reflections and thoughts processes with interest.
    I believe your in touch with your inner-critic and you’ll definitely get there. Chin up.
    Soon we’ll be reading about your successes!

  • Dear Karen,
    Thank you for your well wishes. Josh And The It, has had rave reviews because it’s a great book! Don’t give up hope because it’s all about perspiration and determination, and you have plenty of both, my friend!

  • Sorry to hear that Karen.
    Did you really cry? Hang in there. Rejections suck. I know it.

    Doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with it. There are so many factors going in to these things. One person’s gold, is another’s poo. Just keep sending it out.


  • Thanks Gina, I’ve experienced the whole gambit of Writer emotions in the last 24 hours. I’m ready to move on and kick-ass with JOSH AND THE IT.

  • Thanks Anthony,
    Yes there were tears!
    Most rejections I’ve taken in my stride with a shrug of the shoulders.
    With this CYA competition, right or wrong, I had visualized myself finding my name on the short list and going up on to the CYA Conference stage and being handed a certificate.
    Yesterday’s epiphany that I must add extra scenes and hooks, was amazing. And I’m going with that dream now. Adding NOT Subtracting.

  • Thanks Renee,
    I’m so excited about your short-listing as I know how hard you’ve worked to get to this point.
    You know me, I’m bouncing back from this Disappointment already. Planning a bumper day of writing tomorrow!

  • Karen, your emotional roller coaster (oh, I know it so well) is part of your journey as a writer and the stepping stone to what is to come….your visualisation is a wonderful tool, just remember that when one door closes another door opens…”The Best Is Yet To Come”. Bottle your passion, your skill and your direction…it is what makes you so talented x

  • Hey Karen,
    The highs and lows.. eh
    My hubby keeps saying to me … so are there other writers who go through what you go through? … so I just showed him your post.
    Looking forward to celebrating with you when the good news arrives. xx

  • Thanks Michelle for understanding and the hugs. Only a writer, really knows!
    My hubby read my Facebook comments today with a deeper understanding of the mental processes we writers go through.
    Yes, love to celebrate with you too. Your successes and mine:))

  • Thanks Nicky,
    For your very kind and beautiful words. My eyes are fogging up again.
    Tonight I’m getting out my Law of Attraction book and dreaming up my next visualizations.
    Love your words “The Best is yet to Come.” Thanks xx

  • Steph L

    Josh will get there and so will you – because you both have IT! 🙂

    The kids are your critics and they loved BOTH Josh stories – now if a few more of them had publishers/agents for parents…

    When the Josh series becomes a movie – feel free to cast Daniel Craig

  • Thanks Stephanie, Love your friendship, support and especially your humour. You always give me a good Giggle.
    LOVE Daniel Craig too but not sure which character to cast him in :))

  • So sorry Josh and the It wasn’t on the shortlist. It doesn’t mean they didn’t like it, it could just be they liked those other stories just a bit more. When you get your judges’ comments in October you’ll have a good idea of how they viewed it.

    It’s great that you’ve been able to take this and use it to make a better, stronger story. That’s what being a writer is all about. I’m sure Josh and the It will find its place. Good luck with the revisions and the publisher!

  • Thanks Jo for your commiserations and your insights into CYA comp judging. I am looking forward to the October comments.
    I haven’t looked at JOSH since January, 2011 and already I see opportunities to amp the nouns & verbs and add extra hooks and tension to the dialogue and Josh’s thoughts.
    And this is only Day 1 & 2 :))

  • Lexie Mitchell

    Yes Karen, jo is right. Wait until you get your CYA comments back.
    I’m sure you’ll find there is not too much wrong with it if any at all, and certainly nothing that can’t be fixed by you. I know exactly how you feel. I used to be the same, but now I realise there are so many different opinions out there. If you’ve got a publisher as you said who’s interested go for it!

  • Hi Lexie,
    I’m not making any major structural changes until I read the report. But in the meantime I’m adding extra hooks and mystery which will enhance the overall tone and tension of the plot.

  • Belinda Jordan

    Hi Karen, I know exactly how you felt because I was right there with you. I also shed some tears at not seeing my story up there and I also classed it as a rejection. For some reason, the story I had entered felt different to me from all the others I had written. This story is so special to me, close to my heart and had recently been rejected by a publishing company. So another rejection closely following had me questioning my dreams. I went to bed thinking about closing my fb account even, after all, what was the point?!!!! This morning I woke up and another day had begun. I wasn’t tired or teary and I still love my story.
    I admire your courage and your ‘get up and go’. Your determination will definitely guide you in your dream to be published and I look forward to reading your books when it happens.

  • Thank you Belinda for all your supportive words. Sorry to hear that you missed out in the comp too.
    May I shed some insight about this years entries into the comp? Someone in the know told me this year’s entries were of an extreme high standard and in some cases there was only one mark or two between winning and not winning.
    Good luck with your writing. Don’t give up !!! Glad we can support each other :))

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