When I opened the e-mail from Writer’s Digest yesterday, I was sure they must have made a mistake. I’d actually forgotten I even entered the WD 81st Annual Writing Competition. I called my husband away from his workbench (big no-no) to read and interpret the e-mail. Only when he presented his arm for a fist bump did I really believe it. My entry, MANDELA’S SOLDIER, had won fourth place in the Mainstream/Literary Short Story category. YooHoo!
All week I’d been sending out query letters to agents for my unpublished manuscript, GUADALUPE’S GIFT, and receiving only “thanks but no thanks” form letters in response. I was sinking into a serious blue funk.
Why the hell was I even trying to do this? Who was I kidding? I couldn’t write my way out of a brown paper bag - okay, so I use cloth bags now but hey, you understand. It would be more fun to be weeding the garden. Or peeling potatoes. Maybe scrubbing the faucet with a toothbrush. Even making an appointment for a root canal.
And then, BAM. Appreciation. Congratulation. Validation. Elation. Elation. Elation.
So I have a message for all you guys out there thinking what you write or paint or perform really sucks. When you stick to what’s easy for you, you’ll just end up fat and lazy and bored. Listen to your muse. Challenge yourself. Create. You got to suffer a little, baby, before you feel fulfilled.