I entered a short story in a contest yesterday. It won’t win or place, but I’m proud I submitted it.
The day before the deadline, I was excited and all optimistic. I had met all my goals and should feel a sense of accomplishment. I did. I was proud that I had worked on this story for a couple weeks and wasn’t staring at my computer at 11:50 pm the day of the deadline wondering what I was going to do. I still had to time to polish it the next day. Next day came and I wondered what I was doing. My intuition is pretty good. If something doesn’t sound right, it probably isn’t working. So I paid the most attention to those areas.
In the evening I finally submitted it. That was the only time I got nervous. Was the formatting correct? Was the grammar correct? I used to be amazing at grammar and here I was second guessing myself if a word needed a hyphen. We get nervous because we care. I had worked diligently on the story and was proud of all I had done, but as I hit “Submit”, I felt like I was sending off my kindergardener for the fiirst time. I needed to let it go so it could interact with the other stories and make a way for itself, but was it ready? Had I done it an injustice in any way?
When it was over, I thought I’d want to celebrate, buy myself a present as a reward. No.
I started thinking about what I was going to do next, which I think is good. I proved to myself I could focus on one project, get the story I was looking for, and rewrite while being on schedule and against a deadline. It felt like building because I had the frame and I kept adding to it and moving things.
I like the feeling of sending something off. That’s what writers do. We write then share. You can only share if you give it to someone. Even if they don’t have room for it at this time, it’ll be one of many.