Dear faithful blog companions, I have some happy news!
You may remember I’ve mentioned (once or twice, at most) the competition I entered way back in October, 2012. Well, the longlist of finalists was announced at around 10pm on January 18th.
Friends – I am on the longlist!
Now, before we get out of control, and start handing ’round the brandy, it’s good to remember that the shortlist of 10 won’t be announced until next week. But – out of 300 entries, I made the longlist of 31.
I am so happy – there are no words to describe it. Of course, it may yet come to nothing – I might be one of the 21 people longlisted, but not shortlisted. And if that happens, I will have no issue with it. The sheer fact that this competition was, in real terms, the first time I have ever been able to allow anyone to read any of my work, and that I’ve been chosen among the top 10% (more or less!) of a group of writers – some of them seasoned, all of them extremely talented writers, at that – is mindblowing.
I’d been waiting for the announcement all day, and was utterly convinced I hadn’t made the cut. At around 8.30 p.m. I reasoned it was a foregone conclusion – the results had surely been made known to the people who had been longlisted, and there was no point in obsessively refreshing my email, hoping for good news. I closed the computer down for the night. I drank some beer with my husband, and forgot all about it.
(Well, that’s not quite true – I couldn’t resist another peek just as I was going to go to bed. And, there it was! The longlist had been announced while I wasn’t looking, the pesky thing.)
Even if I never enter, get longlisted, shortlisted or win another competition, I will always be glad I entered this one. The feeling that a group of judges read the first 10,000 words of my novel, and liked it enough to include me on a longlist, is one I will never forget.
It’s a feeling of validation. It’s a feeling of ‘yep, you made the right choice to follow this writing dream.’ It’s a feeling that says ‘maybe, just maybe, you might make it.’ Even though it’s no guarantee of success, it’s such a huge boost to my morale and confidence, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
So, thank you to everyone I’ve ‘met’ on my blogging journey, to everyone who reads my posts, to those who’ve made such friendly and wonderful comments on my posts and all the encouragement you’ve given me. It means the world!
You do know what this means, though, don’t you? I have a *serious* editing job to do before next week!