Update: all prizes have been shipped. next week, I look forward to getting back into reading your blogs. This has been a crazy few weeks!
Top 10 things we can learn about Rejection from American Idol:
1. Not everyone likes the same thing. No agent or editor likes the same thing. We as writers or readers don't like the same thing. It's not personal.
2. Criticism can make you better, if you're open to it. Take any suggestion for improvement and see if it can work. It make help you take a step forward.
3. Everyone needs to improve on something. No one is perfect. Some of us are good at voice, others at plot. It's about growing.
4. Believe in your talent. If you don't believe in yourself, how can your agent or editor? Trust in your ability and do your best to make it work. Sometimes it is out of your control.
5. Talent isn't the only factor. The best singer doesn't always win. The best writers don't always get the book deals. There are so many other factors that go into moving through this journey successfully: the market, the agent, the editor, the need, persistance, patience, timing.
6. Sometimes, it boils down to an X factor. Some just seem to have it. Others have to fight for it. But there has to be some connection between your book and an 'editor/agent that you can't force. It just is or isn't.
7. Know your strengths. Don't be something you are not. Know what you're good at and stick to it until you establish a place for yourself. Your genre, voice, and story.
8. Don't make excuses for your weaknesses. Just do something about it and work to get better.
9. Expect a Simon in every crowd. There will always be a critic that doesn't like your work. Apply the parts that make sense and leave the rest behind.
10. Have faith that this is your time. Its the only thing you can really control in this process.