This summer was a season of revising for me. I have written six complete novels so far, and three of them need serious work. So, I spent some quality time on revising, editing, changing and fixing them. This meant I ignored housework and other less-necessary items on my "to do" list while I poured over, worried over, and agonized over my books. Good times! Seriously, I love writing and even revising, so it wasn't half as bad as I made it sound.
Well, this summer was also a time of contests for me. Brenda Drake's fabulous site, www.brenda-drake.com, offers lots and lots of them, and I highly recommend entering. Just to make this immediately clear, I didn't "win" anything or really get that far in any of the contests I entered. However, I got some outstanding advise from several of the contest judges (or mentors) who were incredibly kind and emailed me their suggestions, even when they didn't chose my entered manuscripts.
Along with the contests I entered, I participated in a July workshop where authors would critique 1st pages sent in to the site. I swallowed my pride, since the way this is set up is that after you enter, your writing, along with any suggested changes or advice, will appear on Brenda Drake's site for the world to see. Gulp. That was a little hard to swallow, but I did it anyway, and I'm glad I did. Here's a link to brenda-drake.com on the day that my work was critiqued. It was hard to put myself out there like that, but I'm glad I did. The advice I got was solid and made me look much more carefully at the entire novel.
Keep writing and definitely keep revising, and if you can stand the idea, enter a contest or two. You may learn something that will make your writing sing. (Or, you may be far better than I am and actually win the contest!) :-)