Not Winning Isnt Losing

Not Winning Doesn’t Always Mean Losing

I told you a little bit ago about a writing competition I entered, I was nervous because I didn’t want to feel like I failed if I didn’t win. Winners would receive cash prizes and publication of their stories, and more important to me, the endorsement that their writing is good and worthy of award. Winners were to be notified by mail on or before Monday February 29th. I did not win. I didn’t even win 10th place. No feedback, no, “almost but not quite,” just a black void of nothingness where I sent my story.

I already went through the mourning of not winning. I knew on Friday that it wasn’t to be. My husband and good friend both said, “There’s two more days! You can’t be so sure yet.” But I knew. I hoped I was wrong, but I knew I had to come to terms with the loss. I shed a few tears. Really and truly, I only shed a few. And not because I failed, not because I took this as a sign that I am a horrible writer and should immediately cease any further attempts at writing, but just because I desperately wanted to win. I wanted the endorsement from total strangers, literary elite, that my writing is good and that I am going places. The blog’s been a little slow, my inspiration has been flagging, and that would have been a huge boost.

But I did not pull out a congratulatory letter from my mail box today.

What I did receive in the mail today was a $200 donation from someone who believes in what I am doing so much that she gave me $200 dollars toward getting my manuscript professionally edited. This person, who shall remain anonymous, had previously mentioned giving me money but I said nothing at the time. I was a little uncomfortable with the idea. Why should someone else give me money for something that I myself hadn’t been willing to shell out money for? I am absolutely in awe of the timing. I didn’t win the writing competition, but I certainly didn’t lose today.

If life is anything summed up in one word, it’s perseverance. Those who win, do so because they never quit. If I won today, I wouldn’t have learned the right lesson anyway. You can’t learn to be resilient and persistent if the journey is smooth sailing the whole way through.

A tearful thank you to my donor, for the absolute greatest timing.

Bears at Brooks Falls Katmai National Park Alaska
I will try to be more like the bears at Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park in Alaska, patiently waiting for the fish. They don’t go hungry, I got to watch them repeatedly catch fish while working in Alaska in 2007. Catching fish and writing stories takes time, patience, and perseverance.

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Theresa Rice

Writing a modern day western and telling my daily stories of humor, sadness or inspiration. Depending on the day, it might be all three.

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