This last weekend I went up to the wonderfully sunny (and cold) Northumberland coast. We had to leave at cough of sparrow and I spent the whole of Friday Saturday and most of Sunday away from the Internet. I sang and talked and ate and walked. Fantastic.
It all kept my mind off the Mslexia Shortlist. I made a conscious decision not to fret or attempt to find out – my focus would be on the Seahouses weekend. My career/vocation is important to me – but the results weren’t going to change by me looking.
When I got back, it was a different matter. I checked my emails. Nothing. My focus dissipated and I was left with voices going off in my head.
- the mopey, whingey one – you’re useless – it was a fluke you were even long-listed
- the high-pitched, hopelessly optimistic one – it’s an oversight – you’ll get the email on Monday
- the quiet, sober, realistic one – pick yourself up and carry on
At the bidding of the self-pitying voice I looked on Facebook. I could punish myself seeing who else had been short listed. No one I knew, it seemed.
I went for Twitter. Again, radio silence. Whiny voice: they all knew and I didn’t and who was I to dream? You’ll look a needy idiot if you ask.
Sensible voice: calm down and get on with your writing.
So I did. I wrote about how I felt and after a lot of tears, decided I would not let this stop me.
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
I would keep on writing regardless.
The little child’s voice, the one who hopes for wishes come true, squeaked at me. I told her to shut up. She persisted. I read the Terms & Conditions Yes, I was supposed to hear ‘whether or not’ I’d been short-listed.
With every bit of emotional armour I possessed bolted round my rather giddy heart, I emailed Martha Lane at Mslexia.
She replied. Her previous email had gone to my other account and thence into the ether. I had been short-listed. I am one of twelve and I should hear in mid-to-late February.
I am surprised how much this means to me – and how unreal it still seems. Someone who knows about these things actually likes my story. Gulp.
But I still remember my vow to myself. I shall keep on going, regardless.