Thursday, May 22, 2008



I've probably said this before, but I really don't like surprises. However, I'll admit that some surprises are good.
David Cook winning American Idol. That was a good surprise.
I'm a quasi-Idol fan. I usually don't start watching until they've got down to the last five or so contestants.
I can't stand watching the auditions, and this year I thought the talent left a LOT to be desired.
But I was rooting for David Cook. And I'm so glad he won. He deserved it.

I wonder if he really thought he would win? I watched him sing on the last night, saw the depth of his emotion and couldn't help feel sorry for the guy. I mean, word on the street was not in his favor. The judges didn't seem to be in his favor, and you felt his pain. It was as though he'd already given the title over to the kid in diapers.
Of course I could be wrong. But humor me.

Aren't we like that? Don't we just lack that last bit of faith in ourselves that pushes us to the limit and over the finish line?
I do. It's a bad trait for a writer, let me tell you. If there's anything that can be compared to American Idol, it's the world of publishing. If you have never written a book, you don't know the hours that go into it. The endless days spent editing, trying to get it just so. The agonizing over whether or not your query letter is good enough to leave your desktop. Once you hit Send, that's a whole different kind of agony.
If you don't have faith in yourself, you'll never make it to the finish line. You probably won't even finish your first manuscript.
Most aspiring writers don't.
To be honest, I probably wouldn't have either if I didn't have a bunch of people cheering for me, telling me to quit the whining and just get on with it. We all need a fan base. It's support, it's love, it's having someone believe in you even when you don't believe in yourself. With enough kicks up the behind, you start to change your tune.
Each step up the ladder of the publishing world is like getting through to the finals in Idol.
When you receive your first email that's NOT a rejection, but a request to see more, wow. That's like Simon telling you you weren't half bad. Half good? Okay, it's better than horrendous, right?
When you get that offer from an agent who's excited to represent your work, well now you're in the top five for sure.
You've at least got Paula and Randy in your corner. Simon's deliberating.
And slowly you work to improve upon what you've got, and your fans cheer you on.

When you get to the finals - having your work before an editor - you know you've done all you can.
It's out of your hands.
I totally relate with how David Cook probably felt after he sang that last song before the voting started.
You know you're good, but you don't know that you're good enough. There's always going to be someone who just might be better.
But then, surprise, you ARE good enough. You win.
I could deal with that kind of surprise. And trust me, when it happens, we're having a bigger party than the AI one.
But until it happens, I press on, knowing that I've done my best with this one. I'm doing my best, trying to be the best writer I can be, and still learning along the way.
Even if the judges don't like me, I like me. And God loves me.
And that's the only prize that's really worth going after.
Winning on earth is great, no doubt, but just imagine for a moment, if you will, the extravaganza being planned for you in Heaven when this race on earth is done.
That's one celebration I don't plan on missing!

1 comment:

Katy McKenna said...

Hey, Cathy! I'll come to your party if you'll come to mine! Ha. My son recently published a computer language book with O'Reilly Media called "Ajax on Rails." I got to have a book launching party for him and it was SO MUCH FUN. Plus, he's sold a lot of books! I'm talkin' royalty checks, baby! How cool is THAT? :)

Katy McKenna