|Art Credit: Cory Jensen Art|
The crazy part, I'd already accepted that I'd lost the contest since there was no word by the January 15th announcement date. But since no winners were named and an email popped up in my inbox a week later, my heart paused. Maybe...just maybe...
"Thanks for your entry. Try again next year."
It hurt. As rejection always does.
I love my story and want others to love it too.
Then the brain went into fear overdrive. Try again next year? Why? Because I'm a good writer? Or is that the canned response? Is this a sign that my story sucks? That my passion for writing doesn't match my skill? Will I need to pack up shop and go get a 9-to-5?
Thank Goddess I had a writing date later that day. Otherwise I would have curled in a ball and moped. Instead, I voiced my disappointment and my friend congratulated me for entering into the contest in the first place. I'm not just dreaming about writing, but pursuing it with full on devotion.
Yes, I wanted to win. Who doesn't love outside validation? To have your work appreciated, praised and loved? I don't want to ignore and push away the pain from failure, only to have it linger, grow and pop up to take me down later.
Instead, I'll have my 5 minute tantrum -- kick, punch, stomp, cry, curse -- whatever to let the hurt move through and out of me. Then I'll reframe the situation. Writing brings me joy. And I will never stop. I will continue to put my work out there and if my audience finds me and experiences joy from reading my stories, then WOO-HOO! (cue happy dance)
let go and let your joy lead the way,