Thursday, September 15, 2011

Kind of a Confession

Dear Mom,

Last night I went to Chesterfield Arts to listen to the winners of a writing contest that I had entered. I didn’t make the cut. After submitting, I had used an attitude of being positive, but I’m thinking my ego was so inflated that it ruptured something in my brain. Not only was I sure I was going to win first place, but I had submitted two pieces, and figured I would win second place as well. Just ask any of my friends and family, they’ll tell you. My stomach churns thinking about it.

The folks that read and won deserved to win. No doubt about it. I left humbled. I also left with that silly critic in my head that tells me (most of the time) to give it up—writing.

I know this voice, and struggle constantly to shoo it away. I tell myself, no, you have to keep trying, keep working at it, keep moving forward. I have to remind myself that on the day I was notified that I didn’t place in the contest, I was also notified that my piece, “Geoffrey” was accepted for publication in Storm Country Anthology. I tell myself, it’s okay.

I write because (as all writers know) I can’t NOT write.

The nonsense that rolls around in my head can cause me to cease showing anyone any writing.

After losing you 40 years ago, a piece of me fell off the planet. That missing piece keeps me grounded in a weird sort of way. For whatever reason I know it’s to help me—to always move forward, never give up, know that something good is around the corner no matter what kind of situation I’m in that causes me to change or my situation to change. Just like my friend Peat. Just like the ton of other people I read about. People I know, some I just know of. People I’m inspired by.

What would the world be like if every one gave up?

I’ll win some and I’ll lose some. I’ll struggle and it’ll flow. I'll think it's good and I'll think it stinks. But give up? Never. I'll die trying.


  1. There's no piece of writing that satisfies everyone. Maybe your submissions would be perfect for another contest or magazine. Those judges just had another direction in mind.

    And you're right, the only way to fail is to stop trying.

  2. Hey, Chickie, I'm so sorry that you are disappointed. You are very talented, and congrats on your Geoffrey story though. You know what? I wrote of you today in my post! Go check it out when you have the chance. You are a blessing and a very special friend.



  3. Hi Lynn,
    Thanks for such an honest and inspiring post. I'm certain your mom would be proud of all you have accomplished.

  4. Great post Lynn - I know the feeling. My ego was bruised today, too. Oh well. Life goes on (and thank God for that!). I love your writing style, by the way. It may not be just right for every venue or contest, but it's definitely just right for you. ; )

  5. Lynn, I have felt the same many times...and especially lately for some reason that I'm not even sure of. Like Kathy M. said above, you are a blessing and a very special friend!

  6. I agree with Donna. You were brutally honest, and that takes guts. I get cocky too, sometimes, but I always get knocked down into reality.

    Yes, you can't give up. You have a gift, and you're right: Sometimes it flows and sometimes it's a pool of sludge. But we write because we must...

  7. We all get tripped up by our inner voices: ego booster and ego buster. Got to find middle ground. Your writing is moving and inspirational. Don't stop.

  8. Bravo, Lynn! You've expressed very well the thoughts that so many of us struggle to handle. Your closing remarks are absolutely "write on"!


  9. Hi Lynn, I clicked over from Becky's blog. I think we can all relate to what you're saying here at one time or another. Thank goodness for that inner voice that keeps bringing us back to the page :)

  10. Hey Everyone! I appreciate all your comments and thoughts. Thanks Joanne for stopping by.

  11. Congratulations on making Storm Country Anthology!! Inspiring post.

  12. Great post, Lynn. Great. Post. You did something Anne Lamott says is imperative: you told the truth. And the truth--about how you were humbled--made this a powerful post.

    Hold onto the work you submitted. Find another place to submit. The Writer's Journal contest I won last year was with a story that didn't even place in a different contest. You're a terrific writer. You'll find the right home for your work.


Thanks for commenting. I don't always comment back, but I do appreciate it.