A couple of months ago I was thinking about some ways to earn some extra dough. Looking online, eventually, something came up about entering a writing competition. Earning money from doing something I love, what a brilliant idea.
I looked further into it, The Rachel Funari Prize For Fiction 2O17 and “the theme of our 2017 competition is ‘Rebirth’, with a focus on women’s stories. We’re looking for creative, insightful fiction up to 2000 words that addresses the theme in any way.”
The prizes were First Place $1500, Second Place $700 and Third $400. Each of them came with goodies and publication in Lip Mag either online or hard copy.
I really loved the story behind this too, there’s more than meets the eye than a simple competition, the honour of the name it’s held in is inspiring in it’s own right.
My Competition Submission
I felt I immediately knew what piece of writing I would enter. By far my best piece of creative writing yet (personal opinion) and I was so proud of it I already deemed it a winner. I fixed up my story to make it flow bettern, checked all the grammar to make it shine a little more and once I was happy with it I paid my entry fee and hit the submit button.
I was so pleased with myself and so proud. I had a really good feeling about this. My first ever competition piece, I was sure it was a worthy winner, if not 1st then one of the others, I mean I was just so proud of it. I was never a story writer in school. Creating fictional stories was extremely difficult, my creativity definitely didn’t shine in this area.
15 or so years later as I sat in a group therapy session called “The Power Within” our activity for the day was a fictional story based loosely on our life and how we overcame our struggles. We had to completely create characters, and once we were left to start writing, I went blank, I had no idea where to begin. Seemingly out of nowhere a title came to me and once I had the title written on the page my hand went off of it’s own accord, there was nothing I could do, it was like two people and I was the observer.
Long story short
At the end, I couldn’t actually believe what was on the pages before me. I had just created a fictional story, yes it was about my life to some degree which probably made it easier nonetheless, I was ecstatic. A definite winner and it fitted the theme of the competition, perfect!
I submitted it back in April, winners were to be announced June and I haven’t been able to get it off my mind wondering where the email was to tell me I had won.
Mindlessly scrolling through Twitter I thought I could checkout their profile, I hit the follow button and scrolled down, there were the winners’ names announced, my name not there. “Oh bugger” I said aloud, I felt a tad disappointed. I then went to their website if I could see the stories which won, I really want to read them. I couldn’t find them anywhere and so I went back to Twitter and wrote on the post announcing the first place winner “congratulations to all the winners. Where could I read the winning pieces?” And then commented “congratulations” on the other post with the second and third placed winners, and I meant it with all my heart too. Good on these women for winning, true kudos I just want to read their stuff. ♡
So there I am minutes after realising I
lost didn’t win and I was so grateful.
Because I need to learn to fail at writing.
I need to be prepared to fail. I only wrote this on a post-it note and stuck it on my board today, and now I’ve been given the opportunity to practice.
I need to be prepared to fail, not just once, I need to be prepared to fail multiple times. As I find myself nearing the end of the first draft of my book, the thoughts and reality of the publishing aspect is now at the forefront of my mind. To get an agent or to self-publish is still being processed in my mind though, in reality, it’s not as clear-cut as finish the book, sell and get rich (which isn’t and wasn’t my intention for writing my book). The more I can practice at failing the better. I will succeed!
“Failure is good, as long as it doesn’t become a habit.”
Why I Think It Was Best NOT To Win!
If I had have won this competition, with my first ever submission it’s possible it may have set the expectation all my writing is of a calibre worthy of winning competitions, EVERY TIME. I mean I won with my first one, doesn’t that mean I should win every one?
“Failure is a much more faithful teacher than immediate success.”
To be honest, I don’t think it would have been this way as I’m not inclined to think or behave in this manner, yet I couldn’t be happier to know I lost this round. I still won really, I created a story I’m really proud of, one of a quality I even surprised myself with. So regardless of the fact I didn’t win the Rachel Funari fiction competition, I’m a winner and the fact I didn’t win this one only makes me want to find more competitions, push my creative boundaries and see how creative I can really get. Not only for those reasons, thinking about it, it’s possible I didn’t deserve to win too, I didn’t create a piece for this competition, I entered one I’d already written, the other competitors likely took the time this competition deserved and put on their creative hats and got to work with the theme. THEY deserved to win, and I’m so glad they did. Congratulations to the winners, I really want to read your work!
‘Pools 2007′ by Alexandra Philp
‘Mammal’ by Emily O’Grady
‘Aftermath’ by Alice Bishop
‘The Glass Half’ by Emily Clements
I plan on searching for more competitions to enter writing to, and If I find one the story fits, I might even enter it again should it be possible. It may not have won this competition, though I still feel it’s a worthy winner so I don’t plan on giving up!
“Success is walking from Failure to Failure with no loss of enthusiasm”
As for my book, well it will be published and it will take my readers on a journey. My ultimate goal is to help inspire others, I am already a winner In life simply by waking up every single day with the abundance of greatness I am blessed to have in my life, I didn’t win this round of competition, though, I will win big in life.
We can all learn lessons from failure, and from those who are most successful are the ones who’ve failed the most. Never give up!!
There is no such thing as losing, only winning or learning!
If you’re interested to read the piece I submitted, here it is! This explains better than I feel I can any other way of my intention in life.
Thanks for reading.