when you’ve had to -facepalm- yourself so many times that your forehead is burning? Well, let’s just say, these past few days for me have might have inflicted some brain damage from excsssive head-banging.
I will just begin to say, I am a VERY
competitive person. You wind me up, and dang, I turn into one of the little toys that furiously twitch around until I fall off the table, especially when I know I’m not the weakest competitor out there. If you put me into a sports competition, no, you won’t get much from me. Honestly, I’m not a big fan of sports, and in those types of competitions, I trip over myself. But you throw me into a writing competition? Oh baby, you better get out of this kitchen.
As I plan to stick to the action/YA genre for my future novels, I read a lot of books of that genre. That means I’ve run into quite a few of James Patterson books, as he is known for that area of literature. I have to say I just love his approach to writing, with short, action-packed chapters that just grab you in the guts, and keep you there until your eyes dry out. And if that’s not enough, he’s a successful full-time writer, which is basically my #1 DREAM to be right now. To be able to weave stories for an entire lifetime, despite the drawbacks, is something I see as a awesome career for me. So seeing someone in a similar genre, with that amount of success and a great amount of books on the B&N shelves, is really inspirational for an unknown like me. You could say I’m BIG fan. Which is what led me to my current disaster.
So, during a recent trip, a friend introduced me to a website called figment.com, a website where you post your writings and people can read it, comment on it, or give you a heart if they liked it. I do have some problems with the site, because of the overwhelming percentage of cliché, mushy-gushy love stories on the site, and the mounds of lazy people who don’t bother to even review your works, but… it has some saving graces.
I mean, I can make a platform with people I DON’T know on facebook that are around the age of readers I want to reach, and there ARE a few people who will give you HONEST feedback. GOTTA LOVE THOSE GUYS! As a cheapskate, it’s a wonderful way to get people to LIKE you for FREE! All I have to do is be a bit obnoxious when getting their attention, that’s all.
So, I’m derping around this site, when my little eyes notice a JAMES PATTERSON CONTEST! Where we have to write a love story on ‘a love people disapprove of’. Though, as you know, I’m not a big fan of romance, but Patterson isn’t all about romance either. So I jumped on the opportunity. If you want to check my entry out, it’s here: http://figment.com/books/531210-From-Gray-to-Blue
Thinking that all entries were read at first, I just put this story on there, just slowly gaining hearts. That was my FIRST screw up. I found out soon after I was WRONG when looked at the rules. And of course, I would soon make another mistake with my brain being as fast tracked as it is, seeing ‘only the 2o entries with the most hearts get read by James Patterson’s editor’.
In a way, this was an annoying, but also an exciting thing. ONLY 20? That means, if I work my butt off HARD enough to get the amount of hearts needed to get into the top 20, then my story would be read by this editor? And I was looking at some of these entries with 200 or 300 hearts, and I was like ‘my story is better than this’. Theirs was the mushy gushy stuff that real love isn’t made of, at least in my opinion. So, I figured, with only 19 other competitors against my story, I thought I could stand a chance, so the insanity began.
On this figment site, a good way to get hearts is to ‘swap’, meaning exchanging reads between stories. All this week, I did at least 10-20 different reads and reviews, my hearts building up to 100. I read so many words, my brain felt like it was melting like the Wicked Witch of The West. It screamed ‘I’m Melting, I’m MELTING,” as it slowly oozed out of my ears and onto my comfortable green chair I got from Target. But I was WILLNG to do this, because I WANTED to win so much. IT was all that was on my mind. I got addicted to figment, and complained to my friends about this fact A LOT. It was a lot of stress, let me tell you.
Then, of course, I realized my mistake just yesterday.
I was looking over the website of the contest again, just to affirm where my story was in terms of hearts, and then I realized just HOW impatient my brain had been.
It wasn’t the top 20 hearted stories that would be read, it was the TOP 200. DDDD:
I felt my jaw drop at least a foot. TOP 200!? I was now 16th in terms of hearts with my stories, a result of all my HARD WORK, and in reality, I could have just spaced it out more and caused myself a lot less pain? I wanted to tear out my hair from my own stupidity. And probably the whole building could hear the loud SMACK of my hand hitting my forehead. How could I have been so stupid?
So moral of the story? READ INSTRUCTIONS. There’s a reason why you keep running into doors when you try to pull it when it obviously reads PUSH. There are a lot of you out there smarter than me. AND KEEP BEING SMART. But don’t be too bogged down if this kind of thing if this does happen to you. Yeah, my brain hurts, and yeah, I really do need to tone down my competitive insanity, but I did get some helpful feedback on my story. Which, I guess was the reward for all of this. So, in the end, as much as I want to bang my head into a wall for an hour regretting my decision, maybe it worked out for the better. You never know.
Adios for the week! Look forward to my next blog NEXT Friday! And keep BEING AWESOME!