Thursday, October 7, 2010

Welcome to Loserville

I didn't win.

I didn't receive the recognition I so badly wanted.

I didn't feel the pat on the back.  I didn't hear the praise.

I didn't even receive a "thank you for entering" auto-response email.

No, first, second, third or fourth place, and WORSE, no HONORARY MENTION.

What if they didn't receive my 700 words or less "Past Love Story Contest" entry?

I can't even force myself to read the stories that did win.  All I can read are the authors names.   (lucky bastards)

I'm not clever.  I'm not compelling.  I'm not smart.  I'm not witty.

This is the sort of thing that will prevent me from writing.  I'll feel sorry for myself.  I'll second guess myself.  I'll punish myself.

Yes, yes, yes...I realize how pathetic I sound.   But since YOU take the time to read me, I wanted YOU to know just how messed up my inner me can be.

Yesterday, my husband and I played tennis with my 9 year old grandson.

We were on the court for a less than 15 minutes when he wanted to quit.
In his eyes, we were "awesome" and he was a "loser."

I forced him to play for a bit longer and then gave him the job of ball boy.

I made some good shots but overall, I was pretty sucky.  To me, it didn't matter.  To me, playing tennis with my family, on a beautiful fall morning, was all that mattered.

Afterwards, I spoke to my grandson about perseverance, pride and purpose.  I explained that his achievements will be the result of continuous effort and if he believed in himself, he would prevail.

He smiled and nodding his head in all the right places.  Was he listening?  Was I listening?

All setbacks are opportunities for growth.  When you consider a problem, or an obstacle, a burden, you avoid it, but when you look at it as a challenge, you face it. 

Big steps consist of many tiny steps, and the first step should begin from your heart.  From then on, each move forward increases your self confidence, and your inner awareness.

You recognize efforts rooted in love right away.  They are pure and honest and good.  They are given freely, without expectations.

So ...instead of keeping the curtains closed, and eating nacho's and oreo's for breakfast, I think I'll take my sweet little dog for a walk - soak in the beauty of the day - then settle down and write.



  1. Fantastic post. Rejection is all too common in creative pursuits and many of us struggle with this.

    I read something recently that said: if you haven't been rejected lately than you aren't working hard enough.

    Good metaphor for life don't you think?

  2. oh I needed that! Thank you Florida Girl :)

  3. Yeah, we all suffer from self-doubt certainly. I remember the day you followed my blog so well. I went to check your blog out, and I was friggin blown away by your post. I mean BLOWN away. I wanted to kneel down Wayne and Garth-style and yell, "I'm not worthy!" Your post was beyond amazing!

    I've enjoyed reading your blog ever since!

  4. I so relate to that disappointment. But keep going!

  5. loser??? who's a loser??? Certainly not you, with a life so full and a natural talent to touch our hearts. No way!! Literary contests are difficult, because you get judged... and judgement is nothing but the criteria of somebody. It is not the absolute true! I love your writing and wouldn't hesitate a MINUTE to buy your book. Let me share a quote I took from a micro fiction post found in a blog I now follow (

    ‎"You don’t have to be a professional to build a successful product. Amateurs started Google and Apple. Professionals built the Titanic.”

  6. Been. There. And all I could do was look at the winner's names and try to melt them from the screen by staring at them for as long as possible.

    Didn't work.

    You're good at what you do - keep doing it. And I hardly ever say that to anyone because I'm an insecure egotistical a-hole like that.

  7. The only people who are losers are those who don't try. Keep writing and keep entering, and most of all keep a light heart about it. Don't let anyone steal your joy.

  8. Do not despair the contest results! Those decisions are subjective, just as the decisions of agents who declined Harry Potter. (...just as the decisions of the agents who declined my first novel). If YOU love your work and, even more importantly, the PROCESS of writing, then that's the gift. The stuff that comes after "The End" is all business, and business is not art.

  9. you guys are GREAT....

    still wallowing in it... almost emailed them to make certain they received my submission (scary, I know)

    according to the "powers that be" there were almost 200 entries. 4 prizes and 10 honorary mentions.

    I'm guessing I cam in 15th... not bad considering it was my first attempt at formal recognition. I won't be trying THAT any time soon.

    Thing is... I DID LOVE THAT STORY. I was so excited about it that I vlogged it and I talked about it for weeks.

    Well, I did what I said I would do. I submitted. I made the deadline. and then I checked the site every day for almost 2 months. I checked it 3 times today, just to see if they made a mistake...


  10. I used to feel that ALOT. My FB quote is "Coolest Loser".
    When I started racing Mountain Bikes, I would get beat by around 50 guys at a time, and was discouraged, until I talked to a 70 year old man who always came in last. He said "Just by showing up, I beat hundreds of people who are too afraid to take the chance".
    You wrote. You won! There are thousands of people who want to write (myself included) who would never make it that far.
    YOU are doing it! You're one of my favorite winners in history.
    Really :)

  11. Sorry in my cold remedy, induced coma I could have swore I commented. Now everyone has taken my words of joy.

    No, you are a JOY, a fresh little joy to read :D
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  12. Ugh, I just wrote a long, drawn out, encouraging comment about how your writing is beautiful and how you must continue for those of us who love it and it didn't go through.

    Now the words are gone but not the spirit in which they were written.

    Hope you enjoy the process, the journey...the outcome is out of your hands. That's what I'm trying to do.

    Take care.

  13. I know you wrote this for me. Thanks, it gives me a little light at the end of the tunnel. you keep writing and I will keep taking photos and we will both be winners.

  14. Shanno, lovely. How groovy that you model for the remarkable boy this: you pretty much suck at tennis and yet you enjoy doing it and you value being with your family and you can feel joy. Maybe he heard, maybe he didn't. But pretty much, i think this is the sort of hearing that happens a little at a time, if at all. But there are layers of peace in knowing 1) you live this and 2) you lay it out for him, to absorb it as he is able.

    Indeed, Shanno. This is something i have been thinking a lot lately, this generosity of spirit that comes easily with love.

    You remind us of the uneven progress of our souls. You have mastered the joy of tennis and struggle for approval of your written self. You remind us that one struggle inside is not the whole of us. and you show us how to keep moving forward, always growing.

  15. Glad to see you hanging in there, Shannon. One thing to remember is that the Beatles were turned down by every major record label until Capitol finally signed them. Imagine if they'd have quit! Hang in there and keep writing.

  16. I do understand your loss. My son is now gone 20 years, and I cannot write this without tears. I came across this quotation in a book I have had for many years. It somehow, has helped me.

    He who for love hath undergone
    The worst that can befall
    Is happier thousandfold than one
    Who never loved at all.--RM Milnes


Thank you for encouraging my JOY of writing. By reading and commenting you are feeding my soul, stroking my heart, and in the end...making me a better writer.

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Shannon E. Kennedy


Photo by Joan Harrison