Wednesday, March 23, 2011

An 11-year-old's dream


I was 11-years-old when I first discovered that I wanted to be an author. Maybe I was just kidding myself that I could actually do it. I know I've been told that J.K. Rowling was rejected from seven publishers with her idea of Harry Potter and now she's a famous author. It's just one of those "it worked out for her but doesn't mean it will work out for me" stories. She's the exception to the rule. Maybe I'm just not good enough and anyone who tells me that I'm good is just sugar-coating it, putting it in a box with a little red ribbon, then letting that box float down the river to where the chain gang is living in their van, whatever a chain gang is.

I got my two reviews from ABNA (Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award) today. And I was right, both were negative. One was short and basically said that it needed work on the writing and they needed to read more to see if it would be a little good, but though it was too dark for teens. The other review stated that my character was written too immature for the age of 19 and focused on one line about the parent being an alcoholic, then stated that Sophie, my main character, was unlikeable and my writing was compared to a young teenager. I had no sense of depth to my character and the plot was unoriginal. It's a kidnapping story inspired by a true story! All the reviewer read was background on the main character. You don't get to know the character's secrets and depth until later. The reviewer also thought it was stupid that a guy would ever ask a girl's father for permission to date her. Really? I know couples that the guy asked permission. It's not archaic like he/she thinks. The review just kept insulting me as it went along and then stated at the end that my writing was terrible and would never recommend it. I was right; terrible reviews.

Maybe I do just suck at writing! I should abandon my dreams, and change my major to Business so I can sit in an office, staring at cubicle walls, dressed in my manly woman's pant suit (which I never want to wear), share gossip with women that will sell their own children for a good gossip story, and fill out endless meaningless paperwork. It would never make me happy.

What was I thinking? The odds of actual going anywhere in ABNA. 10,000 people enter their novel, their hopes and dreams waiting for the fact that only 2 will receive winning publishing contracts. 9,998 people will be rejected and crushed. 0.02% is your chance of winning. Why would anyone do that to themselves? You've got a better chance of tapping dancing with a hippo and being struck by lightning twice. I don't know if I would ever do this contest again. As least with an agent you have a 50% percent chance... because they will either say yes or no, then you move on to another.

I don't think I can stand the rejections around writing... I'll stick to writing NCIS fanfiction and dreaming of getting married. Hopefully no one will squish those dreams too quickly. For right now, I don't want to focus on writing anything and I've not a bit of interest in continuing what I've started. Maybe another day, but today... No, I'm done for a while.

At 11-years-old, I couldn't have known that... my dreams were unreachable... at least at this point in my life. I wouldn't want to have crushed her dreams, but growing up did that to me anyway.



  1. Oh, I'm sorry Krista! I haven't read any of your work but I would like to. Don't give up so quickly, maybe your work isn't top notch yet, but I'm sure you could improve. And at least lots of people enjoyed your book enough to buy it and read it.

  2. Krista, even if I wasn't friends with you, I would still read and enjoy your writing. Your characters have depth and I think your writing is very good for teen readers. That contest might not have been the right one to enter, but just think, you have how many people reading your other novel right now. You have some good reviews and only one bad one - I'd say you're doing really well. I say look into agents and never, NEVER give up that dream.

    "Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent." - Marilyn vos Savant

  3. You can't give up! I know it hurts getting rejected, but most writers do get rejected. You got through the pitch stage, so your premise is strong. Maybe another strong edit is all your work needs.

    I know how you feel, because I'm my own worst critic. Whenever I get any criticism I find it hard to shrug off. Unfortunately, us sensitive souls have to battle that bit harder to get anywhere because we're so easily discouraged. You can't give up on your dreams though!

    "Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent." - Marilyn vos Savant

    Molly- what a great quote! I'm definitely borrowing that one :)

  4. Krista! Giving up is not the answer!!!!! I haven't been able to read any of your writings yet but I remember a young girl with one of her first stories asking me what she thought of the beginning. I saw promise there. God wouldn't have put a dream in your heart just to rip it away. You know that. Keep at it. Maybe it just isn't the right time or maybe God is building you up for something really amazing. Patience girl!!! God has a great plan for you. Just let Him continue to work with you!

    Love ya girl!!!

  5. A few bad reviews and you quit? If it was really your dream to be an author, take the criticism and use it! They may have offended you, but their intent was NOT to hurt your feelings, it was to help you develop your skills. You are young, you are still in college and you haven't seen much of life yet. Keep writing, keep getting better and keeping asking people who don't know you what they think of your writing. At least then you know they aren't just telling you it was good to not hurt your feelings.