That completely sucked.
If this had been the first contest that I'd failed, it wouldn't have hurt all that much but this is like...I don't even know...the tenth.
This makes me question whether or not my writing is any good and on a deeper level, if I even have any worth as a human being.
I know that sounds incredibly over-dramatic but when you splatter your heart across the pages of your novel and then someone (not just one person, but person after person after person...) reads it and shakes their head saying,
"Nah. It's just not for me."
Wow...that's like the ultimate rejection. The core of who you are has been dismissed as "not good enough".
A while ago, I watched an interview of George Lucas and he talked about how when he was a film student, one of his very first shorts won tons of Film Festivals. This is how he realized that he had innate talent, because other people saw his work and immediately fell in love with it.
When I heard Mr. Lucas say that, my heart sank.
I've never been that good at anything. Like, nothing. Not even...eating cheesecake. If there was an "Who Can Eat Cheesecake The Best?!!" contest- I'd totally fail and be in last place, even though I love eating cheesecake!
So, I'm watching George Lucas talk about how he did so well and was from then on able to achieve his dreams thinking, "This answers the question of my self-worth: I have no purpose and therefore no value as a human being, I might as well be a rock or a string of moss hanging from a tree, blah, blah..." and that's how I feel right now too BUT ...yes there is a Kardashian-sized BUT to this thought...
Later, I watched a documentary about how Star Wars was made (yep, I totally watched a two hour long documentary because I'm super-cool and not a nerd) and though Star Wars was a raving, super-unbelievable success...almost everyone who was anyone expected Star Wars to be a flop because very few people believed in George Lucas. There was footage of a young George Lucas wandering around the Star Wars set looking angry, depressed, ready to cry...a little bit psychotic even...and that made me feel so much better! There were even interviews with the Star Wars cast talking about how they didn't have much faith in George and they questioned whether or not the movie they'd gotten themselves into was a good idea.
But the thing that made it come together was that this young director who very few people believed in didn't give up.
He refused to allow other people's lack of confidence in him to set his standard, he set his own standard for the kind of movie he knew he had the ability to make- and he did it.
So, maybe some people read my work and find it to be the epitome of garbage.
Maybe, for this reason, I will never, ever win a writing contest.
I know that I love to write and I know exactly what I want to continue writing about.
That's the beginning of my reality and the end of me allowing other people's lack of confidence in me to shape my reality.
I'm glad George Lucas didn't let other people's negative opinions set his standard for the stories he wanted to create.
If he had, we would live in Star Wars-less world that was chalk full of depressed nerds.