Hello word lovers! I must admit that it feels good to be back on the laptop, doing this crazy thing called writing. In all that has been going on, I noticed that I had already written a few blog post, but just never got around to posting them online. The shame, I know.
So the next few posts, this post included, will be catching you up on things that I should have been updating anyway. Here we go!
The scary part of writing.
In one of my post, First Time Jitters, I discussed that my nerves were going haywire. I had stepped off the edge of all rational that keeps aspiring newbies sane. We can tend to be afraid to put our precious work out there for all to see. But I had just done that. I entered a short story competition.
I sent in two short stories with a word count limit of 1200 words. For somebody who is attempting to write a novel over 50,000 words, this would seem like a cake walk. I mean, ultimately it is. I write what I called scrap writing, which I explained here in Just a Bit More, which I make it a point to write each chapter with a minimum of 1200 words.
Not a Cake Walk.
Let me be honest, it is not as easy as it seems. Every time I sit down to write a short story, I find myself quickly running out of words! The honest truth is what this blog is about, telling the troubles and the success of writing. And let me tell, writing a novel makes you long winded.
Each competition, or should I say most competitions have “theme” to work with. I can say, that the Florida Writers Association has me spoiled when it comes to topics. They actually go into to detail explaining a little bit of what they are looking for. But we won’t touch on this too much here, we’ll save it for another post.
Even with working within this theme, I found in one of my short stories, my imagination went wild. I was disappointed that I could not go into more detail of every little thing that I had come up with. Deciding what to edit and what to keep is the hardest thing I had to do! A foreshadowing of my pain that will come when I have to edit my novel. Story writing can be hard, and this made that point very clear.
The Waiting Game.
After submitting both of my short stories, the nerves really set in. I began to doubt myself, questioning why was I so foolish to enter into this writing competition.
Was I really good enough? Would they laugh and not even dignify my submission with a rejected response?
On May 15, I got a pleasant email. My short story did not get selected as one of the winning stories for this collection. Better luck next year was all I saw in that email. I loved that story! I wanted to turn it into a bigger piece, maybe into a novella, or maybe a book of short stories.
It sucked, my heart dropped to the pit of my stomach. Was I good enough to write a huge novel? I mean I couldn’t even get a 1200 word short story to win!
Short Story Winner.
As I sat there rereading the rejection email, a second email came through. This email congratulated me on winning with my second story. What! I screamed, causing my husband to run into the room to investigate what the heck was going on with his pregnant wife.
Turned out, the very first story I wrote on the writing prompt won! This was the story that was the closest to the truth, while the other short story was a fantasy piece. Real life won out.
Taking a leap of faith in myself won out. My reward, my first published short story. My first time entering a writing competition and winning. There was no greater feeling as a new writer.
The Takeaway for other Writers.
The point in all of this that I want all the other new and aspiring writers out there to get. Is that you are good enough! Stop doubting yourself, believe in your work. I mean there are people out there that are not novel writers but they are pushing out books no matter how they affect the brains of others, why shouldn’t you, a person passionate about writing should not be scared to go for it.
That just it…GO FOR IT. Do you love writing? Then write and refuse to let the fear of failing stop you. In failure, we learn. With success, really not much can be learned.
Well, that’s it for this post. I might actually post the losing short story soon, we’ll see! Later Word Lovers!