Monday, August 15, 2011

Week of OYAN: Winners

To all entrants of the 2011 OYAN Contest.

For the last week, my most frequent One Year Adventure Novel-related thought has definitely been: oh, I’m so glad I’m not entering a novel this year. God, bless those who are!

Because I know the panic, the self-doubt, the fear, the wishes you’d spent more time editing than socializing, the why the heck did I write that?! moments, more panic, more self-doubt, more fear.

It’s funny that every entrant of the OYAN contest, past and present, has felt that way, because every novel to be entered in the contest this year (and previous years) is something extraordinary.

Most adults dream of writing a novel “someday.” Very often, “someday” never happens. That’s because writing a book--even getting from crappy page one to crappy THE END--is enormously hard. I don’t think the non-writer world realizes this. It. Is. HARD.

If you’re entering the OYAN contest, it means one major thing: you finished a novel. Think about that. You. Finished. A. Novel!! (And you’re a teen, to boot.)

But it’s more than that. I would guess 99.7% of entrants have also EDITED a novel. Good writing is rewriting. You put effort not only getting out the brilliant novel that exists in your head onto paper (where it turns into a mediocre to straight-out bad manuscript), survived that process, but then you also tackled that monster head on and made it better.

This is all pretty awesome stuff. But there’s more.

You had a purpose in it.

You survived that process because you have a heart for this. You had a story to tell, and it was worth all the hair-pulling to get there. You most likely wrote because you want to help a dying world. You showed a positive ideal-- love, forgiveness, courage, truth--winning out over hate, revenge, cowardice, lies. You didn’t give the hero’s story goal to him on a gold platter. You made him EARN it. You showed that goodness has a price and that goodness is worth that price.

But there’s even more.

You’re being brave. Recklessly, rashly, fool-hardy brave. You’re Robin Hood defying the Sheriff, The Doctor saving the Earth, Frodo entering Mordor.

Writers live for readers, but the hardest thing we ever do is let our writing be read. Courage isn’t the absence of fear, but it’s facing that fear and overcoming it. You know everyone can’t win. You probably assume you can’t win. But you’re entering anyway. That takes guts. Your offering your heart in paper form to judges, and they can’t all be winners. There is always second place, finalists, semi-finalists, and those that don’t make the cut at all. And it could be you.

But you’re doing it anyway. And you know what?

You’re a winner in my book.

God bless you all,

Image Source.


Godsgirl said...

*hugs* That was awesome of you Nai. Thank you!

Calleigh said...

Wow, Nai...amazing post.

Annie said...

Nai, thanks for making me feel epic when I'm full of self doubt and having a "why did I write a book again?" Moment.

I WROTE A BOOK. WE ALL WROTE BOOKS. *high fives everybody*

Nairam said...

@Godsgirl: You're welcome! Just passing on what I know I would need about right now. ;)

@Calleigh: Thanks. :)

@Annie: You ARE epic. That iz the point. *returns high-five*

Hannah said...

Thanks, Nai! *hugs*

Madcow said...

Wow, very inspiring and encouraging. Thank you very much for this post!

Nairam said...

You're welcome!

Julia D said...

Thank you SO MUCH, Nai! I really needed that. It was VERY encouraging. I'm Piano Queen, by the way. ;)

Nairam said...

Very glad it was, Julia/Piano Queen. :) Trust me, I know what it's like to be brought low on something like this--and then what it's like to realize that it doesn't really matter as much as I thought it did.

God bless, and keep writing. :)

Gray said...

NAI I LOVE YOU. NO ONE UNDERSTANDS HOW HARD IT IS UNTIL THEY WRITE THE WHOLE DANG THING. But also, as far as the contest goes, no one understands HOW crushing it can feel to not hear your name listed AT ALL at that webinar when, for some crazy reason, you felt sure you had a chance [for me, with Burr in 2010... =P].

But then this all powerful assurance comes from within you [in time, in time] that you did something greater than enter a contest--- that you wrote a book.

And it's strong and it's beautiful and it's what being a writer is about.

Anyway. Thank you for being such an encouragement to all of us writers. I love your heart and your writing. =)

Nairam said...

I wouldn't say "no one understands." I'd say there's probably at least a dozen or so more that understand, if not 100.

I'd guess it's probably similar to not making the top 3 when you quite honestly expected it [me, 2009].

So true. It took me quite awhile to get over that, but I'm so glad it happened now. I'm stronger and better for it, I think.

You're welcome. One of my favorite things to do is encourage people. I know how badly we all need it.


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