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.