The competitive spirit!
Have you noticed the Google logo these days? The Olympic spirit thrives. And I know many who are glued to the tube or computer to watch the results these days. We all love the thrill of the competition and so much better when a Canadian wins! But, as many commentators are repeated saying these days, it's how you get there that counts.
Try your best. That's all we should ask.
What about writing? What would be considered the Olympics in that arena? Undoubtedly, the Pulitzer Prize. And then we have the Booker Man, the Orange and various other international in scope. On the home front it's the Giller and the GG's. Honing in even further on the mystery and crime writing world, it's the Arthur Ellis Awards in Canada while the U.K. has the Daggers and the U.S. has the Edgars, the Anthony's, the Agatha's and thriller and private eye writing awards, too.
So, do they really matter?
As a reader, do you eagerly compile a reading list based on the latest award winners? Do you gravitate to that "Winner" sticker that a publisher will usually affix to the front cover? Do you believe it when you're told that this is "the best" in its category?
For writers, it's an entirely different matter. Whether it's a fan-based or reader award, or a judging by peers, the award signifies that what you're writing has an additional value beyond self-gratification or satisfaction. All those long, sometimes lonely and frustrating hours are worth it. You have 'arrived'.
Actually, you've 'arrived' just to be on the short-list. And, taking it one step further, you've truly 'arrived' just (and that's a big 'just') to have finished a manuscript. Remember, it's the getting there that counts. Wouldn't you agree?
Linda Wiken/Erika Chase
A KILLER READ
Berkley Prime Crime, now available
READ & BURIED, coming Dec., 2012