So, I know three people whose pieces won prizes in the National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ annual column writing contest. Kudos to Elaine Ambrose, Lee Gaitan and Molly Stevens – funny ladies and talented writers all.
In fact, there are just three prizes so the only question will be who lands first, second, or third prize. Geez Louise! These ladies can WRITE, so it’s anybody’s guess at this point. They’ll find out at the NSNC national conference in June.
In case you’re wondering, I met the trio at last year’s Erma Bombeck Humor Writers’ Workshop in Dayton. And as I stumble through this, my first blog post in months, you might legitimately be wondering, what the hell was Kate doing at that conference and where has she been lately?
You have no idea how very close I am to deleting the above and postponing my return to another day when I might feel funnier or more, er, writer-ly . . . .
Well, what happened is that I submitted my own work for publication a few times this year – to one contest (not the NSNC), and for inclusion in two anthologies of humorous essays.
I didn’t make the cut.
Since these groups receive all kinds of entries and assume that we’re all adults who understand that not everyone can be chosen every time, no one sends an email saying, golly, we LOVE your story, and you almost made it! You were THIS CLOSE! So sorry. You’re an amazing, funny writer. You’re cute and kind, too! Promise us you won’t give up and definitely send us more of your stuff soon. Hugs and kisses . . . .
No. That doesn’t happen.
You may (or may not) be surprised to learn that I am a FRAGILE FUCKING FLOWER. I’ve got the body and thin skin of a plump-bottomed Bartlett pear. You’d think I’d grown up in the era where even the kids on the losing team get a trophy for showing up and a consolatory cone with sprinkles at Dairy Queen. No. I’m way too old for that. There weren’t even any girls’ sports back then, come to think of it.
Anyway, feeling crushed and cranky, I decided to stop writing. Oh, I never intended to quit forever; just long enough to give my tender little ego time to heal. Long enough to gather up my courage to try, try again and face the traumatizing possibility that an editor or judge may not choose me . . . again.
I knew it. I know it. Then last month another very funny lady who I am honored to be (occasionally) confused with on Facebook, Kate Mayer, was named a 2017 BlogHer Voices of the Year Honoree.
Kate wrote that she had been aiming for 100 rejections and it was finally starting to pay off. I doubt Kate even came close to 100, but the fact that she could SAY it and have that kind of attitude just knocked my zebra-striped socks off. Right? Yay, Kate!
So I’m back. And I’m meeting some other Erma-ites for a writing getaway in Indiana the weekend after this. It’s time to get back in the saddle. Time to toughen up and quit being a wuss and remember that I’m writing because I love doing it. Rejections be damned. And in honor of my many writing friends who keep plugging away and occasionally – and deservedly – get recognized for their work, I’m going to make myself a Rejection Chart to fill up with star stickers for every effort and hang it on my office wall.
Stars for effort in the face of rejection – and maybe a trip to DQ – shall encourage me to plop my pear-shaped ass in front of the keyboard once again. Thanks, ladies!