Huge congratulations to all the finalists in the Writing With The Stars finalists. It is a huge accomplishment to enter and be chosen. And it takes a lot of guts to post your excerpts for everyone to comment on and vote.
I was lucky enough to be a mentor in this contest. I didn’t know Alannah Lynne before the official announcement introducing her came. After watching her work so hard and be so professional through tough deadlines, I have huge respect for her. She is charming and talented and I think you’re all going to like her as much as I do. Take a look…
** Meet Alannah Lynne**
On May 1st, when I made the decision to enter the Writing With the Stars Contest, I made the best decision I ever could have.
I’d originally planned to enter a guardian angel story. But two weeks in to editing, I decided it was more suited for the Aphrodisia line, so I scrapped it. On May 15th, I decided to write LAST CALL.
Had I known what a rollercoaster ride the next seven weeks would be, I probably would have changed my mind about entering. Thank goodness I didn’t know!
There are too many lessons learned to list them all, but here are a few of the biggies.
Lesson #1 – If I have to, I can block life out, sit in my chair, and focus for hours on end. I wrote every single day. Even when I didn’t want to, even when I was sick, I sat at my desk and met my word count goal.
Lesson #2 – I don’t need 8-9 hours of sleep like I’ve always thought. I LIKE that much, but I don’t need it. Half-way in, I started sleeping 6-7 hours each night, and was able to function fine. The last two weeks, I didn’t get more than 6 hours any night, and most nights I was down to 4 1/2 – 5.
Lesson #3 – I don’t need to do as much around the house as I’ve always believed. The last two weeks, my husband and son did a great job of fending for themselves. And they survived!!
Lesson #4 – Having a tight deadline worked well for me. Being forced to work on the story for long hours (up to 18 hours some days), kept me immersed in the story world and helped with the continuity.
Lesson #5 – Worrying about the story doesn’t get it written. Normally, I over-think things. On this timeframe, I didn’t have time to crawl around in my head and play with my doubts, fears, and paranoia.
Lesson #6 – Self-care is important to a writer, and something I neglected. I won’t do that again.
I’m happy to say, the lessons have continued since becoming a finalist. I can’t thank Alicia and Megan enough for this opportunity. And there are no words to describe how fabulous HelenKay has been! Thank you!
So, how about you? Has a project taught you more than you expected, or ever would have believed possible? I’d love to hear about your lessons learned.
NOTE: You can read the first paragraphs and last lines here and then vote.