“How was your week?”
“Pretty depressing, I found out I didn’t win a big writing contest.”
“Really, that made you depressed?”
Yes, I can understand my friend’s difficulty in comprehending my sorry state. It’s like saying you are depressed because you didn’t win the lottery. The natural reply would be, “And you thought you would win the lottery, are you insane?”
My answer, “I bought a ticket so at least some part of me thought there was a chance… so yes, maybe I am insane.”
I didn’t spend days writing the contest entry just for it to be dismissed. That was never my intent.
Remember, it’s all depressing and hard to explain.
It’s the little things that allow me to write again.
I do all this with the hope that people will read my words. The glee I get when someone says, “I like what you wrote, it made me think.” is a little silly and probably over the top. It’s even better when the positive feedback is from people I like and admire. A swell of pride comes when someone I don’t even know has read a blog, then commented or shared it.
I’ve been lucky and some of my stories have had great critiques. Unfortunately replaying those sweet memories in my mind can’t always counter balance a rejection note.
The definition of insanity can be the business of entering contests or searching for an agent and publisher. A harsh reality sets in. Tangible rewards are rare. Failure is a constant.
Writing is lonely work. It’s a small gathering of my mind, my ego, my heart and either a pen and paper or my trusty computer. Together we blend words in the hope that someone, somewhere will take a few minutes to read. And for that moment, in that small window, the reader is mine, in my world, sharing my thoughts and adding their own. Writing is a solo sport and rarely do you make it to the writing Olympics… the gold medal… getting published.
But interaction along the way can make the journey worthwhile.
I should have known something was amiss when I woke up Sunday morning to find a strong wind had blown over and cracked “Hope”. Maybe it was a sign that “Liberty” was left standing.
Depression would be the winner if I had never written the piece or entered the contest.
Then being upset about losing would be insane.