With February’s exit came the realization that the short story I submitted to a big national contest did not win, did not place, did not register on anyone’s Richter scale. Winners (or those who got Honourable Mentions) were to be notified “before February 28.”
I am cheered by one thing: if this had happened to me last year, I would’ve been beating myself up over it. I would’ve labeled myself a “loser.” I would’ve doubted my talent, my capabilities, my entire freakin’ life path. Instead, here in 2012, I am sitting tall in my chair and I am telling myself something quite different.
You see, the story I submitted is very good. I know that. Maybe it didn’t rock the socks of this particular set of judges but I know that the story has legs and merit and heft. And, now instead of beating myself up about the fact that it didn’t win any of the much-needed prize money, I am celebrating the fact that now I am free to submit it elsewhere.
This story is just on a journey that isn’t over yet. The story is quirky, a little left of center. It’s not totally bizarre nor is it hard to read or fathom. It was a departure for me to write but once I got started, it took off. It wrote itself. That is the way with the stuff that is worth keeping around, at least in my limited experience.
And, so I will work tirelessly and diligently to find my story a proper home. Will it garner me fame and fortune? Probably not. I’ll be happy if an editor for a literary mag or e-zine reads it and says, “Crikey. Interesting stuff…” and offers to publish it for a pittance. Of course, something more than a pittance would be ok too.
The more I write, the more I have a sense for what is good. No, let me re-phrase…for what has potential. Potential is all I need because somewhere along the road, I picked up some much needed confidence. With potential and confidence on my side, I’m off to a great start.