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.
Many congratulations! The process you went through should help when it is time for the winner to be decided. Fingers x it is you.
I appreciate this, Celia. It really was a useful if uncomfortable little trek. I’ve still got the Tigger voice & the Eeyore voice both going off in my head but finally, I’m a writer because I write, regardless of wherever I might come in competitions.
(Though it would be really good to win!)
Wow! Congratulations! I’m happy that you are comfortable with any outcome, but I’m still DELIGHTED that you’ve been shortlisted. SO well deserved – couldn’t be happier for you, my dear.
Thank you very much, Jo. I am still astonished.
Congratulations and well done!
Thank you very much. I cannot believe it really.
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