Well, here it is. My 100th post. I’ve been putting it off for a week now, maybe even longer because of the delay for the post before this.
Why the hesitation? Because as a society we celebrate milestones. When we reach 10 it’s a huge deal, 16, 21, 30 on up to, yep, you guess it, 100. Now-a-days someone saying their great great relative is celebrating their 100th birthday has less of a wow factor to it, but it’s still pretty cool. So to say this is my 100th post means it’s Huge, HUGE…
Because of that, I spent the last two weeks (I’m extending, I know) trying desperately to come up with something special for this milestone. I thought about being funny, dipping into satire or sarcasm. I even asked on my Facebook page for suggestions and received two. Both equally good, both having the potential of being interesting. Couldn’t do it though. I was wracking my brain for something…anything worthy to post.
What I came up with was – nothing, diddly, nada, zip, zero, zilch, a void of nothingness. I even thought about having all my main characters on one stage to talk about what it’s like to work for a writer like me. I pulled up the page and promptly stared at it for ten minutes before walking away.
It’s peculiar for me to be in that type of mind frame. For awhile I managed to convince myself the problem was that I wanted it to be great. That was until yesterday. Now I realize that subconsciously I think the Divine was preparing me for what was to follow. It’s happened before where I go into this numb period mentally when focusing seems to be a UFO. While what happened doesn’t rival the news about my Grandmother 9 years ago, it had a similar effect.
In the morning I got hit with a massive hammer upside the head (and no I don’t mean a migraine fortunately though I think I would have preferred it). As I’ve mentioned here, I entered Surrender to a contest for Writer’s Digest. Yesterday morning I found out I didn’t win. My consolation is that 7,800+ other people didn’t win either, but that didn’t help me much yesterday. Today, sure, but not yesterday.
What took me by surprise was how bad it hurt. There I was, stunned then it became arg, then it became blah until I hit depressed.
Wait, where did that come from? This isn’t the first contest where I’ve lost, nor is it the first rejection I’ve had with my writing. It happens! That’s the way of the writing world. “DEAL WITH IT, JESS!”
I gave myself one day to be miserable, to wallow in self-pity and low self-esteem. I managed to shuck off the miserable and self-pity (poor, poor, pitiful me!), but the self-esteem is still a little low on the totem pole. Yet, with that said, I am able to pull myself far enough back from this situation to realize two of the most important lessons of this situation.
The first is this: A few years ago, about 6 I think, this would have pulled me down into a downward spiral until I hit the bottom with a mighty thump. It would have lasted for months. No, I’m not joking. Back then I had this belief that when something goes wrong, everything goes wrong. Fast forward back to the present, I pulled out in a little over twenty-four hours.
Excuse me while I celebrate this accomplishment. /me dances the hand jive\ Go me!
The second lesson is this: Though, to be honest, it’s less of a lesson and more of a ‘smack yourself upside the head while saying “Duh!”‘ realization.
Before I explain that, let me tell you about my theory. It revolves around our own motivations, desires, and needs. I came up with this theory after a series of events I won’t go into. It’s coupled with a basic understanding of psychology, but it’s pretty simple. Ready? Here we go:
When something external hurts so bad it makes your chest ache and sends you into a sideways skid into the next lane, stopping short of the cliff by 10 yards, there’s a reason for it.
I know, sounds profound doesn’t it…. doesn’t it?!? Ahem… I believe it means two things, the first is that you’re relatively well-adjusted (but you didn’t hear it from me about me, okay. I’m still quirky, promise), but it also means the item/activity/situation is important to you in a life-altering way. It matters. It’s not like the pair of shoes where the heel broke the first time I stepped out my front door kind of matters, but I cured cancer type of matter.
Granted, I’m not likely to cure cancer anytime soon. I’ll leave that to the really smart people (see, I can still be self-deprecating). However, removing the double talk from this conversation, my side-ways skid told me that I’ve moved from the point of “Eh, I want it to happen, but if it doesn’t so be it.” To, “I will make it happen or so help me, I’ll be miserable for the rest of my #@&^ life!”
In short, I’ve crossed the divide between wanting it to needing it.
Wait a minute, what? Back up here. Rewind… Hmm, yep, I said it. There you have it. My great revelation for 2013… I think I’m all stocked up now.
So yes, this is my 100th post, and yes, it probably isn’t what could be termed as “fantastic”. Honestly, I’m not sure it was meant to be so I’m okay with it. I am sorry if anyone was disappointed, but to me it’s still special. It’s special because the fear from before has taken a back seat. I can’t and won’t say it’s gone, but I see it as living inside that chasm I jumped over.
Before I sign off, I want to say thank you to all my followers and anyone who reads my blog. I didn’t think I’d make it to 100 because in my first five failed attempts I missed the mark by a mile so I’m patting myself on the back for that. I have all of you to thank for it, because if I didn’t know and see that people were reading, I would have given it up again.
- Finding An Agent Or Manager: Yes It Can Happen With/At Screenwriting University (writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com)
- Self Esteem or Other Esteem? (psychologytoday.com)
- A Thing to Hang My Plot On (beckylevine.com)
P.S. I already submitted Surrender to a new contest for the Glimmer Train Publication. I’d encourage all my writing pals to seek out contests (perhaps even the Glimmer Train as well) and put yourself out there no matter how much it might hurt. You never know, it could turn out for the best!