As desperately as I want to be a published novelist, there are three nice things about being unpublished. No, wait. PRE-published. You may be wondering what on earth could be good about being pre-published, but I'm trying to focus on the positive. So stay with me.
1. Freedom. Yes, I've slaved over my novel and it took hours and hours to write it, research it, edit it, submit it to critique buddies, sweat over my synopsis, struggle through creating a one-sheet, and practically admit myself to the psych ward during the preparation of my proposal. BUT...According to the authors I know who are published, once you get that contract, the real work begins. Extensive edits, and heavier marketing and promotion. And the most scary part...actual deadlines.
I'm really trying to appreciate the "free" moments I have now because getting that contract will require days when I'll feel anything but free.
2. Excuses. Once I'm published, I will never be able to use the "Hey, I'm unpublished. What do you expect?" excuse again. Yes, even published authors make mistakes (gasp!) but being unpublished gives me a better reason for those POV slips, passive voice problems and grammatical errors.
3. Genesis Contest. The past two years, I've been a finalist in the Genesis contest. And yes, I will be submitting two entries this year. The Genesis is a wonderful contest for unpublished authors and I can't imagine not preparing my 15 pages and one-page synopsis. The feedback I've received on past manuscripts has been invaluable and the whole process invigorates me.
A contract would mean I'm ineligible for the Genesis contest. It's kind of like trading in the 1/4 Karat diamond my husband gave me when he asked me to marry him for a 1/2 Karat diamond on our 10th anniversary. I definitely wanted the upgrade, but it was tough giving up the ring I started with. Then again, I'm not overly sentimental about that stuff and I got over it pretty quickly. Especially when that bigger diamond was on my finger.
Likewise, once I get that contract, I'll be trading in the Genesis for other contests like Book of the Year and Faith, Hope & Love. I'm sure I'll get over it, but Genesis means "beginning" and I'll always have a soft spot for the contest that started it all.
So, despite looking at the bright side of being a pre-published novelist, I'm thinking I'll need a pair of sunglasses when I make it to the "published" side. And even though at the moment there are a few "pre-published perks" I'm hanging onto, I'd be lying if I said I really hope this will be my last year to experience freedom, excuses, and the Genesis contest.
What about you? Anything to add to the list of "pre-published perks"? While we're in the waiting area, we might as well focus on the bright side. Just purchase a good pair of sunglasses for when it gets even brighter.