The road has been difficult, fraught with obstacles. I've been attacked by fiendish judges chortling, "You're not good enough, my pretty!" Our computer has crashed, taking my WIP with it. My writing time was shortened dramatically by the need to find full time employment.
Occasionally I was graced by a kind hearted agent or editor who touched my head with their glowing wand of encouragement.
My rag tag critique partners accompanied me on my journey. We were plagued by questions along the way. Did we have the courage to persevere in a sometimes harsh industry? Was our uncertainty a sign that our hearts weren't into the pursuit of a publishing contract? Could our brains be minus a few cells for even thinking we could write?
I travelled the Golden Heart road four times, certain with each attempt that I would final. For my fifty dollars, mailing expenses and weeks of polishing my submission, I received a single page with numbers. Numbers that mean absolutely nothing.
The RWR printed an excellent article last year detailing the complex judging process that determines who will final in GH and who will not. It was disheartening to say the least. Because of the way the judges scores are tallied, a writer with lower scores might actually final over someone with higher scores.
And then there is the matter of the judges themselves. Many are entrants who are not allowed to judge in their own categories. I'm not sure it's reasonable to expect someone who writes a Victorian era historical to pass judgment on a genre they don't read or write. I understand most writers read multiple genres these days. But it only takes one person to mark down your entry because they fail to understand a paranormal relationship might start off a little slower because of world building. After all, the "rules" say….
Don't get me started on that one.