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Ultimately, Nothing is Futile

Posted 01-09-2017 at 03:27 PM by Ludlum'sDaughter14
A few months ago, I entered three poems in a writing contest. The deadline for entry had been extended an extra few days, and I heard about it during that extended period, so I decided it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. Then for months I waited for the announcement scheduled in January, wondering whether my work would make the cut. Today I received the email listing the winners, runners up, and finalists out of over 3000 entries. My name did not appear on any of the lists.

I am definitely disappointed. It's partly my own fault: I let the possibility of winning the writing contest (as well as a cash prize any college student would envy) become a pet fantasy of mine. Something extraordinary to break the bonds of ordinary life. Of course, I didn't realize this contest had thousands of entries either . . . But I'm far from devastated. In fact, I can think of several positives from this experience.

1. I've put myself out there.
My dream is to one day be a published author, but I've never attempted to publish anything before now. Entering this contest was a first try. Now, I've received the first of what may be many rejections. And I'm still alive.

2. I'm still realistic (mostly).
With a better understanding of the quality of my work (or lack thereof) and reasonable expectations out of life. As always, the best things only seem to happen when you're working hard for them or you're not doing anything at all.

3. The poems were good for me.
In the end, it doesn't matter if no one else besides a few family members and friends read those pieces of my work. In writing them, I converted abstract thoughts, experiences, and emotions into a material form easier for me to process and respond to. I'm a newbie at poetry, but now I've gotten some practice for other things I will write, whether poetry or prose.

The timing of all this is interesting, because just a few nights ago, I wrote a poem which I may never publish. It's too personal, and it involves people close to me who would be hurt if they found out what it meant. But it was what I needed to write - what I needed to say and hear myself saying.

This is the conclusion I come to repeatedly: everything I do is for a purpose. Even if I can't see what is accomplished when I botch a vocal solo or do poorly in an audition or lose a writing contest, it is accomplishing something. It might just be accomplishing something in me, something that will make me who I need to be to face the real-life challenges of tomorrow. Something that will make me a better friend, daughter, sister, wife, mother, speaker, writer, human being. God knows what he's doing, and it will all work out for good in the end.

"Our indiscretion sometimes serves us well
When our deep plots do pall; and that should learn us
There’s a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will.”
- Hamlet, Hamlet
Total Comments 1

Comments

  • Old Comment
    LD, have you found The Poet's Corner? Click on Social Groups under your User CP.

    I enjoy your writing.
    Posted 03-04-2017 at 09:53 AM by ojai22 ojai22 is offline
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