Be Careful What You Wish For

A few years ago, my friend and fellow writer Shari Pratt pointed me toward a blog called Miss Snark's First Victim, run by Authoress. What a gold mine! Authoress is every aspiring author's champion and she has created a first-class community of aspiring authors.

Throughout the year, she runs contests to help writers get their work in front of agents and to help them get feedback on that work. As I was writing and revising The Novel, I dreamed of being ready to submit it for one of these contests.

Be careful what you wish for.

Monday was the submission day for one of Authoress's Secret Agent Contests, one that included the category and genre of my novel. Having just completed Draft 4 last month and about to embark on the Great Query Adventure, I thought, "What the heck. I'll throw my hat in the ring."

As soon as I clicked that Submit button, a feeling of panic fluttered in my chest. What was I thinking? What if I got picked to participate?

I dismissed the doubts. Tons of people entered the Secret Agent lottery. The chances that my entry would get picked had to be slim.

Not slim enough.

My entry was one of the 52 randomly selected to play the game. And by "game," I mean the first 250 words (well, 248 in my case) of my novel published on Miss Snark's First Victim for the whole world to see and criticize--I mean, critique--and for a lurking agent to read.

That's my baby! What if they don't like her? What if they say she's horrible? (They won't. They're much nicer and more tactful than that, but still, those are the screaming doubts every writer hears when they put their work out into the world. Right? RIGHT?)

The contest entries go live tomorrow (Wednesday). To say I'm brimming with nervous energy would be an understatement. Still, as excited as I am, I can't help wondering: what have I gotten myself into?