Above artwork by Jessica Durrant.
I said I would write minutes a day. Doesn’t mean I want to write every day. Most days I look forward to it. If I haven’t had time to write during the day, I will think of my ideas as I am laying by my five year old, waiting for him to fall asleep. (Never say you won’t do anything as a parent because you probably will.) But I have a head cold and I’m tired and my daughter has been sick for two days, as well. On the upside, we got to watch 13 going on 30. But I said I would write ten minutes a day.
I entered a contest about a month ago at World Nomads. I came across it by chance. It was kind of a stretch. I didn’t want to say anything because I have never really entered a contest. It was for travel writing and a two week entrepreneurship (I spelled that without spell check!!) in the Balkans with a travel writer. I don’t know much about travel writing. I don’t even have a desire to really be a travel writer, though I do enjoy writing about places we’ve been and adventures we have had.
So, I entered and mostly forgot about it until today when I found out that I wasn’t selected. Three out of 5,000 applicants were selected and I read the winner’s stories. They were amazing. They made me want to visit far off lands and make friends with strangers and eat odd foods. They made me want to disappear on a solo adventure. And I thought, “These writers are excellent! They deserve to win!” And I am glad they won because they will be amazing and maybe the travel writing scholarship will be a gateway for them.
That doesn’t mean that I wasn’t a little bummed because maybe, just maybe, I had created something contest worthy. However, I really am proud of what I wrote and I will publish it here on Saturday. People say you either fall apart or thrive under failure. I hope I thrive. I hope I learn from what these other people wrote. I hope I am improving day in and day out on this little journey of mine. I hope I “find my voice” as one magazine encouraged.
This isn’t the first “rejection” (I hate that word) that I have gotten. I have gotten lots of others. And some acceptances and published works on different sites. I have a goal to add a “published works” tab on this site. But whether accepted or rejected, I am going to keep writing and keep pushing through the emotions and hard things. I will continue to be real. I will continue to be myself and not create a fantasy world. I don’t want anyone reading this little blog to feel like they are less or anything. I want them to feel like THEY could write or sew or paint or exercise or just be still. Whatever they want to be!
I have found a lot of inspiration and encouragement from one of my “oldest” (been friends since 1998) friends, Jessica Durrant. She took her love for painting and art and ran with it, in spite of fears and difficulty. Her pain actually helped her to create better work and it has worked out wonderfully for her! She has been able to be a full time freelance artist and has been featured in many magazines, ads, books and whatnot. I admire her courage as she has ventured out into this unknown. She has been very real and very straightforward when I have asked her questions about trying this writing business. I appreciate her honesty because while it is nice to hear “Well done.”, it is also nice to hear “Toughen up” or “Try harder”.
She admits to artwork she has created and hated and threw away. She admits to creating something and then putting it away for a long time, only to bring it out and find fresh perspective. She admits to not wanting to work somedays and how she deals with being blocked. She admits to rejections and failures and successes. She has done the hard work and continues to do the hard work. As I have said before, this writing is for me and I will continue no matter how many rejections I get. But it is also refreshing to see a normal (in the nicest sense) and good friend achieve dreams that she never imagined would be possible.
On a side note: my nine year old son just read this and asked me about it. He was sad for me. But I explained to him about what I am trying to do here and perseverance and he nodded his sweet little boy head and smiled his crooked smile and asked for a sip of my Dr. Pepper. I love that I have a little team of encouraging kids (and Blake, especially) who love me and this dream that I have. Hopefully, it will help them to fulfill their current and future dreams regardless of critic’s praise or success. Hopefully, they will do it for them and for their children and not give up.