An email showed up in my inbox today, inviting me to enter the first 2000 words of a manuscript in a contest. Get exposure for your novel--even if it's not yet finished! it promised. I don't even have to finish it? And someone will read it and possibly pass it along to an agent? Well, how tempting is that?
I actually spent about fifteen minutes reviewing the logistics of entering and then had a little talk with myself. I'd already submitted the first 15 pages of my WIP to a contest, mostly wanting feedback about the start of the story. I didn't place in that one but felt the feedback was certainly worth the price of entry.
But since then, I've done little work on it. Blame it on the job, kids home for the summer, sick dog--you name it; I had reasons for not writing.
And today's avoidance took on another name. Validation. I needed it, as I'm pretty sure we all do. But my Fearless Five had already told me the story had legs, that my writing has merit and they eagerly await more pages.
So the validation has been given, by five women I trust with my whole heart. What more do I need?
The courage to finish it. A deadline I can stick with. Motivation to complete it. Determination to write the best damn story I'm capable of.
Validation. I don't need it as much as I think I do.